Saturday, February 25, 2012

1st Blogoversary GRAND FINALE: An Excerpt from 'A Love Surrendered' by Julie Lessman & Giveaway!

HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY, MEGAN!!! I know you love ALL things Irish, so I thought it might be appropriate to give you and your readers a sneak peek at my upcoming book, A Love Surrendered, which is the final installment in the saga of the O'Connors, the most PASSIONATE Irish family you will find in Christian Romance! In this scene, the hero--twenty-five-year-old Steven O'Connor--reluctantly drives the heroine Annie Kennedy and her little sister Glory home, hoping to distance himself from this sweet seventeen-year-old who he feels is too “innocent” to get involved with the likes of him.


Signaling a turn, Steven eased onto her street, gliding the car up to the curb in front of Aunt Eleanor's house. He coasted into park before he slipped her a slow grin, allowing the engine to rumble along with the chuckle in his throat. “You make me sound like an ogre, Miss Kennedy.”

“Nope, just a hard-nosed arm of the law whom I'm scared to cross.”

“Good,” he said with a jut of his brow, “then my work here is done.” Fisting his door handle, he glanced down at the angel drooling on his leg and smiled. “Come on, you little piece of heaven,” he whispered. He slipped his hands beneath her fragile arms and draped her over his shoulder before easing out of the car. A smile nudged when her arms curled around his neck, and the scent of Ivory soap and bubble gum caused a sudden ache in his heart. He opened Annie's door and helped her out, and in the flash of a moment, longing invaded his chest. The touch of her hand, the weight of Glory on his shoulder, and he almost felt whole again, as if he deserved the happiness of a good woman, one who would give him children to love …

“Thank you,” Annie whispered, reaching to take Glory.

“No,” he said, unable to resist burying his head in her sweet mass of curls. “I don't mind.” Lump in his throat, he kissed her cheek and followed Annie up the steps.

“I can't thank you enough for bringing us home,” Annie said, slipping her key in the door. She pushed it ajar, then turned and held her arms out for Glory, her smile warm. “You're a very lucky man, Steven O'Connor, to have the kind of family you do.”

He paused, her statement taking him by surprise, as did the realization she was right, something he'd come to learn the hard way when his father almost died. He'd taken his family for granted before that … but never again.

Her smile tipped into a soft grin. “Or maybe 'blessed' would be a better word.”

It was his turn to smile. “That's certainly what my sisters would say, especially Faith. Come on, munchkin,” he whispered in Glory's ear, “time for bed." Gently dislodging Glory's fingers, he leaned forward to pass her to Annie.

“No …” she groaned, her sweet, little voice groggy with sleep as her arms inched back to his neck. “I don't want you to go …”

He paused, his head tucked against hers as emotion thickened his throat.

Annie tugged at her sister. “Glory, Steven has to go home and we have to go to bed ...”

“B-but will I see you a-again?” she said with a whimper.

He swallowed hard. “Sure, kiddo, anytime you want.” His gaze flicked to Annie and back, and suddenly his hopes for distance seemed to be fading.

“We'll see,” Annie said, voice and hold adamant as she tried to pull Glory away.

“Okie-dokie.” Glory loosened her grip, then patted a fat, little palm to his cheek. “You're itchy,” she said with a giggle, then deposited a sweet, tiny kiss on his mouth. “G'night, Steven.”

“G'night, Glory.” He tapped her nose before Annie managed to pry her away.

“Thanks again,” Annie said, inching through the door with Glory in her arms.

“Wait! Aren't you going to kiss her too?” Glory spun around, eyes wide with the innocence of a little girl who had no earthly idea what she was asking him to do.

He blinked, noting the expanse of Annie's eyes.

“Glory, no--” she whispered, turning ten kinds of pale.

“Please?” The little troublemaker stared at him with those wide eyes of an angel.

Heart thudding, he did the only thing he knew to do--he kissed Annie right on the tip of her nose. Clearing his throat, he stepped back. “Well, good-night, ladies.”

“No, silly,” Glory said, “like this …” She demonstrated with a sweet little peck on her sister's lips as if he were too stupid to understand, then tilted her head. “See? It's easy.”

Too easy, he thought with a trip of his pulse. Way, way too easy …

“Stop it, Glory, Steven doesn't want to--”

“Sure I do,” he whispered, his words shocking him as much as Annie. Gaze holding hers, he slowly leaned in, close enough to see the long sweep of her lashes, the pale gold in eyes so green, he felt like he was in Oz, about to be granted a wish. He heard the soft hitch of her breath when she stopped breathing because it coincided with the halt of air in his own lungs. Cupping her face in his hand, his eyelids sheathed closed at the touch of her lips--soft, supple and just a hint of peppermint from the candy she'd offered him in the car. It was meant to be no more than a peck like Glory had given him, but somehow his mouth wanted to linger and explore … He stepped in close, body grazing hers and Glory's till they were one. A little-girl giggle broke the trance, and Annie's lips curved beneath his.

“His whiskers are itchy, aren't they, Annie?” Glory asked, patting his face once again. “Kinda makes you wiggly all over, doesn't it?”

Annie's eyes glowed as she caressed her own cheek. “Very wiggly,” she whispered.

“Well,” Steven said quickly with a clear of his throat. He chucked Glory beneath her dimpled chin. “I suppose that's enough kisses for one night, wouldn't you say, kiddo?”

“No!” Glory giggled with a thrust of her chin.

He hiked a brow. “You know what? You are going to be trouble when you grow up, little girl.” Tapping a finger to her chin, he slid Annie a smile and winked. “Just like your sister.”

“I know.” She looped an arm around Annie with a pixie smile. “G'night, Steven.”

“G'night, Glory.” His eyes trailed to Annie and he nodded. “Annie.” Without another word, he loped to the car, his thoughts as warm as the summer night. He slipped into the front seat with a faint smile and turned the ignition before shifting into gear with a tentative sigh. His gaze lighted on the passenger seat where Annie had been and something warm and deep and full of hope expanded in his chest till he thought he couldn't breathe.

“You're a very lucky man, Steven O'Connor,” she had said.

Fingers clenched tight on the stick, he downshifted hard, all warmth dissipating the farther he rumbled away from her street. Exhaling slowly, his lips inched into a sad smile.

Don't I wish.



Thanks, Megan, for allowing me to be a part of your blogaversary celebration, and I wish you many more years of blogging fun! To celebrate, I will give away a signed copy of any of my books, including A Love Surrendered. Just leave a comment telling me WHICH is your favorite O'Connor book and why. And if you haven't read any, that's okay too--just let me know, and if you win, I will make sure you get the first book in the series. GOOD LUCK!!

I LOVE to hear from reader friends, so they can feel free to contact me through my website at http://www.julielessman.com, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter at http://www.julielessman.com/sign-up-for-newsletter/. My newsletter is chock-full of fun info on my books and there's always a contest featuring signed book giveaways. Also, I have a cool feature on my website called “Journal Jots” (http://www.julielessman.com/journal-jots1/), 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 (http://seekerville.blogspot.com/), a group blog devoted to encouraging and helping aspiring writers on the road to publication.

Hugs,
Julie

ABOUT JULIE:
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 13 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction.” Chosen as #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Series of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #5 Novel of the Year and #4 Historical Fiction Author of the year.

Julie resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son and daughter-in-law and new granddaughter, 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 features A Hope Undaunted, which ranked #5 on Booklist's Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010 and is followed by her most recent release, A Heart Revealed. You can contact Julie through her website at www.julielessman.com.


GIVEAWAY:
  
Julie has graciously offered to give away a signed copy of any of her books, including A Love SurrenderedTo enter, all you have to do is follow this blog in at least one way, complete the mandatory entry and then complete whichever extra entries you want in the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open internationally!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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152 comments:

  1. I absolutely love getting a sneak peak into this book! I love all the books. I would say that 'A Hope Undaunted' is my favorite as I read it first, but I love Mitch and Charity more than any other characters. But I have a feeling I am going to be just as taken with Steven and Annie!

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    1. Hey, DeANN, I am SOOO with you on this one -- AHU is my fave of all the books I've written too, mostly because Luke McGee (and Mitch Dennehy) are tied as my favorite heroes I've written so far. But Charity is DEFINITELY my favorite heroine just because she is SO much fun and SUCH a hoot to write!! I swear the woman makes me laugh in almost every single scene in A Heart Revealed, even the sad ones! Thanks for coming by to celebrate with Megan and me, and here's to a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  2. I think A Hope undaunted was my favorite!! I don't know exactly why.....but I just loved it the most....but I loved all of them!!
    I love this excerpt!!

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    1. YAY, MARTHA ... another AHU fan!! I think AHU may be my fave of all because of all the components involved -- a great, selfless hero, a sassy heroine, deep friendships, true-blue loyalty, and a tragic historical event such as Black Thursday in the Great Depression which coincides with a tragic event in the O'Connor family. Like APMP with WWI, tragic historical events just seem to deepen the story for me, and then you throw in the amazing era of the Roaring 20s with flappers, prohibition and the emergence of women's rights, and it is a full-bodied mix for sure. Good luck in the contest, sweetie!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  3. I love all of your books! You inspire me, both as an author and as a woman of God. Although I really enjoyed the first trilogy, I think my favorite book so far has been A Hope Undaunted. I can't wait to read A Heart Revealed and A Love Surrendered!

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    1. Aw, JASMINE, thank you SO very much for your kind words AND for reading my books! Cannot BELIEVE I have three votes for AHU so far because APMP is usually the winner in these things, followed by A Heart Revealed, then A Passion Denied, A Hope Undanted and A Passion Redeemed. But we must have a group of Mitch and Charity fans here, which is fun!

      Good luck in the contest, Jasmine, and if you don't win here, I am running a newsletter contest right now where you could win another book, so if you are interested, here is the link:

      Julie's contest

      Good luck! :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  4. I absolutely LOVE Julie Lessman's books!!! I think my fave so far has been "A Passion Denied" because it shows how so many young women, myself included think about romance, and the revealing what is truly important in a relationship. Love the excerpts too!!

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    1. JOHANNA!!! Thank you, sweetie, for even reading my books, and there is something really special about APD to me, too. First of all, I LOVE Marcy and Patrick's story in that book because it is loosely based on an incident that happened in my own marriage, so the pain Marcy went through was real enough as far as this author is concerned! Then I absolutely LOVE the strength and passion of Collin and Brady's friendship, then finally, who couldn't love Father Mac and his sage advice???

      And, yes, Lizzie's take on romance is exactly how I felt as a young woman, too, since I was SO enamored with Gone With the Wind and romance in general. It wasn't until I came to Christ and did things HIS way in a romantic relationship, that true romance found me. Today, I have a marriage that is like my own personal romance novel, but it didn't get there overnight or through fairy-tale thinking. It got there through application of the Word of God -- in my life and especially in my marriage, so I KNOW these precepts work!!

      Here's to a win, my friend.!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  5. My favorite was Sean... Because of all the emotional turmoil he'd been through in his life all way up u tip he married Emma. Hmmm... That man at the end of A Heart Revealed... One of my favorite endings of a book ever. :)

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    1. DAWN!!! Soooo good to see you here, sweetie!! I see your name every day on my prayer list, my friend, praying for that break-through for you!! It's coming ...

      And, yes, I like that scene at the end of AHR too -- Sean is an amazing man who kind of flew under the radar for the first four books, but boy, when he fleshed out, what a guy!!

      Here's hoping your visit today nets you a win, girl!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  6. my wife would love this read

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    1. ANONYMOUS, what a sweet, SWEET guy you are ... and BRAVE!! :) Thanks for coming by to enter for your wife and here's to a win!!

      My books are VERY romantic, so hopefully you will enjoy them, too, or at least the passionate frame of mind -- both toward God AND toward romance -- I hope they put her in!

      Good luck!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  7. I have read the 1st and have the 2nd book tbr. I love the O'Connors and can't wait to read Steven's story. The excerpt was great. I agree with Dawn that Sean and Emma both had gone through trials but have each other.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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    1. MISSKALLIE!!! You should receive AHR any day now, darlin', 'cause I put it in the mail last week, I think! I'm SO glad your persistence paid off, my friend, and I hope you enjoy Sean and Emma's story!

      Good luck in this contest too!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  8. Sorry, a little frustrated because this is the second time I have tried to tweet but the comments are covering it up and it does not let me tweet.
    I forgot to add that should I win I would like "A Love Surrendered" to read Steven's story. Thanks Julie for the great books you have written for us to read.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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    1. MISSKALLIE, leaving comments can really be a pain, can't it, ESPECIALLY those that have the silly, wavy word codes that you canNOT read!! Glad yours came through ... :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. this will be my first christian fiction
    can't wait to read them
    :)

    masa_mimma@yahoo.com

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    1. Oh, MASA-MIMMA!!! You are JUST the type of reader I am looking for -- one who has never read my books!!! I am SO looking forward to introducing you to this very passionate and close-knit Irish family.

      I will warn you, though, that although the excerpt today is pretty mild, I do include a LOT of passion in my books -- both romantic AND spiritual, so be warned! This is not a sweet, kiss-at-the-end-of-the-book read by any stretch of the imagination, and the reason is I started writing my first book, A Passion Most Pure, at the age of 12 after reading Gone With the Wind, so passion comes easily to me, I guess. BUT ... I happen to believe that it's JUST what God is looking for from us, too, which is what my blog subject is about this week -- A Passion for Passion, so if you get a chance, stop by at:

      Julie's Journal Jots

      Good luck in the contest, sweetie!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  11. Love Julie's books! Always so inspiring! Just re-read A Hope Undaunted (to refresh my brain) 'cause am expecting AHR in the mail any day. Love the cover on A Love Surrendered and am anxious to read it, also. Count me in, Please! Thanks!!!
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

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    1. Hey, JACKIE, cannot WAIT to see what you think of AHR, so you be sure to let me know, okay? SO glad you won, and good luck in this one too, my friend!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  12. Julie so nice to see you here, great celebration--
    I have read many of your books here so would have to say the last one "A Love Surrendered", I have enjoyed seeing you in seekerville too.
    thanks for sharing
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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    1. PAULA!!! Thanks for coming by, my friend, and to Seekerville too -- isn't that a great place???

      If anybody wants to check it out, Seekerville is a 15-author blog devoted to helping writers on the road to publication, but readers love it too! Here's the link:

      Seekerville

      Good luck in the contest, sweetie!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  13. I love Julie Lessman's novels. i just found them last year, and have read them all except the last one, A Love Surrendered. i have a hard time saying which character i like best, but think it would have to be Luke. Thanks for the giveaway. And Happy Blogoversary, Megan

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    1. MARIANNE ... thank you SO much for reading my books, girl, and Luke is SUCH a great hero, isn't he?? And SO perfect for Katie's stubborn streak since he is her perfect match. I hope you will enjoy the trouble he gets himself into in Steven's story, A Love Surrendered. That boy has some humility coming his way ... ;)

      Good luck in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  14. JULIEEEEEEEEEE!!!
    Well, here we go, Jules. I'm 'stocking' you again. :)
    My Gosh, you had me LAUGHING OUT LOUD -- no joke, with that excerpt from A.L.S! (Glory, Glory, I have feeling I'll LOVE this kiddo!) Can't wait for the book to come out! And my favorite book, written by the very BEST authors in Christian Fiction? Oh, I'm sorry, I'm afraid that it'll take close to 20 pages to answer that question. It just keeps on getting better Jules! Although the first baby got me fallin' in love with the family, AND now I'm L.O.V.I.N.G the ones in the Wind of Change series.
    I just HAD to come by and encourage my good friend (It'S not necessary really to put me in the giveaway. Good luck to everyone else and enjoy Julie's books! -- I know I do :)

    Big HUGS to you Jules!!

    are you guessing who it is?

    Ganise

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    1. GANISE!!! LOL, you sweet thing -- thanks for coming by AND for voting in my contest -- BLESS YOU, darlin'!!

      I am VERY excited to send ALS to you, but I just found out it is releasing in October instead of September, so it will take an extra month, I'm afraid. :(

      Have a great weekend, my friend!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  15. Oh, I am a Julie fan I have all her books except of course this last one. I love all her books my fav. is always the one I'm reading at the time. I really don't know which one is my fav. Julie is just good. Oh, and the teaser wasn't nice. I guess If I won I'd have to choose A Love Surrendered because that is the one book I don't have.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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    1. ABI!!! Hey, girl -- that's what I like to hear -- your fav is always the one you're reading at the moment!! :)

      Thank you for your kind words, and sorry, Abs, but THAT is what a teaser is supposed to do -- "tease," so it it's done it's job, then I'm happy! ;)

      Good luck in the contest, and thanks for coming by! Oh, and, Abi, you still have time to enter my newsletter contest by voting in the Family Fiction Reader's Choice award at the link I gave in the newsletter and in my response to Jasmine's comment above. That's just one more chance to win Steven's story, and it's easy, not to mention a great way to support Christian fiction. You don't have to vote for me or even tell me who you voted for, just let me know that you did, and I will enter you, okay?

      Thanks, sweetie!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  16. Wow, wow, wow, Julie, what an excerpt! I can't wait for A Love Surrendered. My favorite is still A Passion Most Pure, it was such a lovely, passionate start for our journey with the O'Connor family.

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    1. MERRY, thank you!!! Actually as I mentioned in a comment above, A Passion Most Pure is the runaway favorite usually, with A Passion Denied a close second. I guess this is because the O'Connor family was so different than most Christian fiction families out there when they blew in on the scene and ... ahem ... certainly a lot more passionate as well, so they just made a big impression, you know?

      Thanks for coming by, sweetie, and here's to a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  17. Hi Julie,

    I had to drop by to read the 'sneak peek' and it was well worth it!!

    My favorite is still "A Passion Denied." Brady is my favorite hero - poor tortured soul! LOL. My second favorite is A Heart Revealed, even though there weren't as many kisses. Love Emma and Sean. And of course, I can't wait for Steven's story, too!

    Have a great weekend. Oh, and don't worry about entering me for the draw. I'll wait and order ALS when it comes out! Hope a new reader gets a chance at your books.

    Cheers,
    Sue

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    1. SUE, you sweetheart, you!!! ALWAYS smile when I see your beautiful face, my friend, AND your beautiful spirit!! Thanks for coming by to say "hey," and that's interesting about Brady being your fave. Actually, when I wrote that book, I fully intended Brady to be a Billy Graham type of hero, but my own personal taste runs SO much to bad boys like Collin and Mitch, that I had trouble writing Brady. Soooo ... I did the next best thing! Gave him a past SO awful, that he became a former "bad boy" in my mind's eye, and I was happy. :)

      I don't know if I ever told you, but my editor had me cut Brady's past WAY back because she said it was too shocking for Christian fiction, so I did, but I honestly felt that Lizzie needed more motivation to turn her back on him than I had in the book, but that's just my opinion.

      And, Sue, I noticed you didn't enter my current newsletter contest to vote in the Family Fiction Reader's Choice award, but you still have till Wednesday to do so, so take advantage! It's just one more chance to win Steven's story plus a $25 gift card, and it's easy, not to mention a great way to support Christian fiction. You don't have to vote for me or even tell me who you voted for, just let me know that you did, and I will enter you, okay?

      Thanks for taking time to come by, my friend, and HAPPY WEEKEND!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  18. Hi Julie!! I'm so very excited for A Love Surrendered! I've read all of the books and just bought Emma's story so that my Grandma can read it in the nursing home. She loves them! (But not nearly as much as me!!!) And I can't wait to see who this lucky girl is that Steven falls for! So exciting! My favorite of all of them is A Passion most Pure. I read it constantly, and can never get it out of my head! Though, I don't want to get it out of my head! lol I relate to Faith so much and strive to have an attitude and relationship with God just like she does. It seems that whenever I read about her my love for God grows so much! And you can't forget about the gorgeous gray-eyed Collin! The passion is just so beautiful!
    Marissa (dramaqueenlarae@sbcglobal.net)

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    1. MARISSA!!! LOVE your e-mail addy, girl, especially since I call myself a CDQ (caffeinated drama queen!). I do want to warn you, however, about typing your e-mail out as it actually is because spammers can glom onto it, which you don't want. So, next time, just do it like this: dramaqueenlarae(at)sbcglobal(dot)net, okay? You should be okay this time, but I wouldn't make a habit of it, sweetie.

      Thank you SO much for sharing my books with your grandma, too -- that is AWESOME!! My Aunt Julie is in a nursing home, too, and she passes my books around to the nurses there and reads them herself, so I LOVE that!!

      And I cannot believe you read APMP "constantly"!! How many times have you read it? I've read it over 60 times because I edited about that many times before it finally sold!! :) I had one little 14-year-old write me that her parents threatened to throw her battered copy of APMP away because she read it like 17 times, which actually blew me away, but if a book resonates with you, I guess it's not hard to do.

      Thanks again for your support, and here's to a win!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  19. Oh and of course I tried to Post this on my Tumblr, don't know if it worked.. http://apassionmostpure.tumblr.com/
    Marissa L

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  20. Ooh, I loved this excerpt! So fun. Love how you ratchet up the emotion with just the little things. I have enjoyed reading and reviewing all of your books, but I'd have to say that A Hope Undaunted was my absolute favorite! As I said in my review, the twists and turns left me breathless and I loved how Katie's heart softened throughout the book. Can't wait to read your new one!

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    1. Whoops, Linda ... I responded to your comment below rather than here -- sorry!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  21. LINDA!!! Girl, thank you SO much for ALL of your great reviews over the years -- MUCH appreciated!!

    And I have a question for you. Do you review for RT? For some reason I thought you did, and if you do, is there anyway my publisher can request you as the reviewer for my next book? Or could you request to review it? The reason I ask is that it seems I have gotten reviewers who do not seem to like the passion in my books, so the reviews are not always as favorable as I would hope, ESPECIALLY on APMP and APD. So let me know, will you?

    Thanks again for your kind words AND your support. Good luck in the contest, my friend!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  22. Oh, Happy Blogoversary Megan!
    What a wonderful landmark in your "blogging life" to have passed.

    Oh, how exciting! I just simply cannot wait for A Love Surrendered.

    Thank you for the excerpt :)

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    1. FAYE ... your name is actually FAITH??? Gosh, I absolutely LOVE that name, which is why I named my first heroine that, although the name certainly ended up fitting her quite well.

      And if Faith and Collin are your faves, you will probably LOVE their sub story in a Love Surrendered, so GOOD LUCK in the contest, sweetie. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  23. Oh, and my favorite Julie Lessman book is A Passion Most Pure, I can't help it my name is Faith!

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  24. I absolutely love Julie's books!! I think my favorite one was A Heart Revealed because I could relate to it. And I loved the excerpt from A Love Surrendered! Ooooh, I just can't wait 'til September!

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Hey, MARISSA, thanks for swinging by to leave a comment, my friend, and A Heart Revealed is my hubby's favorite too. He just LOVES Emma, but then who doesn't?? :)

      But bad news ... I just found out from my publisher this week that A Love Surrendered will not release until October 1st rather than September 1st. Sigh. But I hope my good reader friends like YOU will think it is worth the wait. :)

      Good luck in the contest!! :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  25. I have loved all the books so far, but my favorite is A Love Undaunted! Love the sassiness! I so want to read A Love Surrendered!!! My bd is in September. Great bd gift!

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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    1. LINDA!!! Hey, girl, thanks for coming by and I'm sure I've told you before that AHU is my fave, too, of ALL of my books. Gotta love Luke McGee, you know, and yes, that Katie is a pistol, although not as much as Charity, right?? ;)

      As I told Marissa above, my publisher JUST told me this week that A Love Surrendered will not release until October 1st rather than September 1st, so the anticipation is ramped up one more month, I'm afraid. Not my choice, trust me! :/

      Good luck, Linda, and here's to a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  26. I love all of the books by Julia! My favorite one is 'A Hope Undaunted'. These books are such a great read and I love to sit down and spend time with the O'Connor family. I hope I win the newest book 'A Love Surrendered"!!!
    samanthaakuiper@gmail.com

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    1. YAY, SAMANTHA!!! Mine, too, but then who could NOT swoon over Luke McGee??? YIKES, what a guy, sooooo darn capable of keeping our Katie in line, which is the type of man I LOVE because I tend to be a pistol myself. Like Charity and Katie, I needed a reallllly strong man, too, and I am happy to say I got one, praise God!! He's a WONDERFUL mix of Patrick, Mitch and Luke, and boy, do I love that!! ;)

      Hard to believe that there will only be one more O'Connor family book, but thank God I get to write Marcy and Patrick's prequel, which I have about 85 pages written on so far. Whew ... soooo nice to get my O'Connor fix after writing an entire book on the McClares!!

      Good luck, Sam!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  27. Oh my goodness! How could I possibly choose a favorite? They are all SO good! But well... I suppose my favorite is 'A Passion Denied'.
    And thanks for the excerpt. I can hardly wait to read Steven's story now! :)

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    1. LOL, KRISTA ... you sound like a mom ... how can one choose a favorite kid? I actually love each book in a different way -- APMP for Faith's deep passion for God, APR because I love seeing a Scarlett O'Hara type like Charity be redeemed by God's love, APD because I love the tense sub plot between Marcy and Patrick AND Collin and Brady's friendship, AHU because I just flat-out love Luke McGee and Katie, AHR because the chance to write a forbidden love story between a scarred woman and a confirmed bachelor and finally, ALS because it's nice to bring the family full circle, which this book does, I hope.

      Anyway, I wish you well in this contest, sweetie, and I hope Steven's story does not disappoint. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  28. I haven't had the privilege of reading one of Julia's books yet. This excerpt is so intriguing that I won't let this fact go on for long. I'll be looking for the books next shopping trip! Yay! This book sounds wonderful to me. My Gram was a Kennedy so it makes it even more special.
    Happy Blogoversary from a Goodreads fan!
    Justmeshf@hotmail.com

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    1. Oh, JUSTMESHF, thank you SO much for your interest in my books -- I am THRILLED!!

      BUT ... I will warn you, though, that like I told another commenter above, although the excerpt today is pretty mild, I do include a LOT of passion in my books -- both romantic AND spiritual, so be warned! This is not a sweet, kiss-at-the-end-of-the-book read by any stretch of the imagination, and the reason is I started writing my first book, A Passion Most Pure, at the age of 12 after reading Gone With the Wind, so passion comes easily to me, I guess. BUT ... I happen to believe that it's JUST what God is looking for from us, too, which is what my blog subject is about this week -- A Passion for Passion, so if you get a chance, stop by Julie's Journal Jots at the link given above.

      If you want a sample of a more passionate scene that is more the norm in my books, please sign up for my newsletter, which includes a wee bit warmer excerpt! :)

      Good luck in the contest, sweetie!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  29. Loved the excerpt! Thanks so much for sharing another one. I am so grateful to all the bloggers (congrats on the anniversary!) and to Julie Lessman for keeping us connected to the writing process... and for giving us such wonderful "nuggets" to keep us happy between books.

    It's hard to choose, but my favorite of Julie's books (thus far) is probably A Passion Denied. I loved how stable, calm and encouraging Brady was through the first two books, and his role in helping Colin/Faith/Charity/Mitch... but then to understand his past and see his unfolding relationship with Lizzie had me riveted, and on an emotional roller-coaster! So good!

    Thanks Julie, for taking the time to interact with fans, share with us, and most importantly, for writing such great books!!! :)

    kel817(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Aw, KELLY, you are SO welcome, and thank YOU for your kind words and great support for Christian authors, including me!

      And, yes, Brady was like a Rock of Gibraltar, wasn't he, though? I loved that about him, too, that God was first and foremost in his life and his true anchor ... even when he was forced to come face-to-face with his past.

      Trust me, Kel, it is NO hardship to interact with wonderful reader friends like you and my other friends who've commented today, truly. It is one of my greatest joys as a writer, which is why NONE of my comments are short, just about. Ever notice that??? :) Heck, you should see what my Christmas cards used to look like -- I had to write a book in each, which is why I gave them up twenty years ago!! :)

      Thanks again, sweetie, and here's to a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  30. Ok I'm sad to admit that I have yet to read one of Julie's books. My sister owns the Daughter's of Boston series and it's at the top of my list of books to steal from her once I finish all of mine. I have heard nothing but good things and can't wait till I get a chance to read Julie's books!

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    1. ABBI!!!! Say it ain't so, girl!! What do I have to do to get you to put them at the top of your list??? Come on, now, like Nike says -- just DO it, okay? :)

      Please thank your sister for me, for reading my books, and once you do, I want to hear from you if you like them, okay? If not? Uh ... never mind. :|

      Good luck, sweetie. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  31. Wow, what a GREAT finale (Julie Lessman and her books-oh yeah) and giveaway Megan!!! Good job this week on all you've done and happy blogoversary once again :) Praying you have MANY more blogging adventures yet to come!!

    Julie, I have not read your books, but every chance I get to win one you know I'm entering!!!! I would love to win A Hope Undaunted, but trust me I intend on reading ALL of them when I'm able to :) Or whichever one you pick is fine also :) Congrats on your new granddaughter, HOW PRECIOUS, and thank you for participating in this giveaway!! You're such a blessing for answering EVERY comment here today, wow!
    Blessings, Kara

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    1. KARA!!! Oh, girl, we are going to have to rectify that VERY soon, you hear?? And trust me, I would LOVE for you to walk away with AHU, too, so here's to a win, okay??

      However, if you DO win, I would want to send you book 1 in the this passionate family saga, A Passion Most Pure, which won American Christian Fiction Writers Debut Book of the Year for 2009.

      You see, this is a series best read in order due to a number of HUGE surprises in book 1 that would be ruined otherwise. Of course, the books CAN be read out of order, it's just the reading experience is so much better consecutively, you know? Book 1 lays the groundwork for each of the characters, helping you to get to know them sooo much better right off the bat.

      And, girl, how the heck do you know about my new granddaughter?? Do you read my Journal Jots blog?? I can't remember mentioning her in my comments here today, but then I am pretty old and suffer from collander brain more than I like to admit ... :)

      Good luck in the contest, Kara, and thanks for coming by to wish Megan Happy Blogaversary and to say "hey" to me -- MUCH appreciated!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  32. Love the sneak peek! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of "A Love Surrendered". Julie is an amazing author and I am going to be so sad when the O'Connor series is over. I think my favorite so far is "A Hope Undaunted", but is very hard to pick one.

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    1. ATHENA!!! Oh, honey, you and me both!! I usually go through about 10-12 Kleenex when I proof the galleys of my books, but HOLY COW, I went through 30 or so on A Love Surrendered, so either it's THAT tear-jerking or I'm just real blue to let these people go. I've lived with them for eleven years now (since I first started A Passion Most Pure in 2001), so it's going to be REAL hard to say good-bye, you know? :(

      Anyway, good luck in the contest, my friend, and have a great weekend!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  33. I have the same name as the author and I think that it's really interesting to share a name with an awesome author :D
    EMail: puieread at yahoo dot com

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    1. LEDERPYREADER!!! Your name is Julie Lessman??? Oh, man, wouldn't that be a hoot! :) I take it your name is Julie? If so, don't you just LOVE it?

      I have always liked my name, but have never used it in one of my seven books so far ... until now! "Julie O'Rourke" will be Marcy Murphy's (not yet O'Connor) best friend in the Marcy/Patrick O'Connor Christmas prequel I am writing, so it's kind of fun to use it.

      Anyway, thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  34. LOL Julie! I will be happy to walk away with ANY of your books, don't mind that at all :) Your granddaughter was mentioned in the About Julie section above and I was so happy to hear you're now a precious grandma. Will be checking out your Journal Jots and website as well, love your writing :) Blessings Julie!

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    1. See, KARA??? I told you I was old -- forgot that I put my new little granddaughter in my bio!! She's only four months old, so I guess I'm somewhat on the ball if I have her in there already, but still ... :|

      Thanks for checking out Journal Jots, Kara. I have a LOT of excerpts in there with pix of movie stars that I envision for the heroes and heroines, so it will give you a VERY good idea of my writing and whether it's truly your cup of tea or not.

      God bless, sweetie!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  35. Hi there, Julie! Thanks for sharing that excerpt!! ALS is going to be A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! I'm really looking forward to October! The *only* good thing about having to wait until October, is that we've been spared the agony of deciding which book to read first -- yours or Love's Reckoning by Laura Frantz -- the publisher has decided that for us! ;o)

    I bet you can guess my answer to which book is my favorite, lol! I'm going to say ALL of them, but if I have to narrow it down to one, I'll go with A Passion Redeemed. : )

    Thanks to you and Megan for offering this giveaway! I'd love to win A Love Surrendered!

    Sweet Blessings,
    Michelle
    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

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    1. MICHELLE!!! Talk about making my day, sweetie -- soooo good to see you here! And guess what?? You know how beautiful Laura's new cover is??? Well ... I have a conference call with my publisher last week, and they are going to get me the same designer for my new series and nixed my idea of light-hearted covers like Deeanne Gist or Mary Connealy because they said although I have humor in my books, there is WAY more passion and drama and angst, so they want a serious, sweeping cover instead, so I'm PUMPED!!

      And I know what you mean -- I always read my new book when it comes out, but now I can read Laura Frantz's first, which is ALWAYS fun because she is SO darn good!! Aren't you glad I turned you on to her??

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  36. I have only read A Hope Undaunted and loved it! I was thrilled to find that there is quite a few in the series. It's such a wonderful story! Thank you for the giveaway!

    Margaret
    singitm(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Aw, MARGARET, thank you SO much!! AHU is actually my fave of all the books written, so I am glad you enjoyed it too. If you win here, I will send you book 1 in the series, A Passion Most Pure, okay? That way you can start at the very beginning of this VERY passionate family! :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  37. I havent read any of your books Julie but they look wonderful. With all the awards you have earned it sure shows that you have a strong passion for writing and for God. He has blessed you with a wonderful talent.

    Congrats on your new grand daughter. I would love to be a grandma too.

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    1. ANONYMOUS ... thank you SO much for coming by, and I would LOVE to get one of my books in your hands, so here's to a win!

      And you sound as if you may be not too far from being a grandma just based on your comment, so I am saying one for you RIGHT NOW for that blessing in your life!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  38. My favorite part was the expert! And my favorite part of the expert was the kiss!!

    My favorite book is A Passion Redeemed. I love Mitch and Charity. Mitch is like the sexiest guy ever!

    I would love to get A Love Surrendered. It sounds SO good! I cant wait to read more about Steven.

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    1. Oh, LEAH ... you are my kind of gal, because I think Mitch Denney is "like the sexiest guy ever" too!! A Passion Redeemed was my FAVE of The Daughters of Boston series just because of Mitch AND Charity of course because she is SUCH a hoot! But Mitch ... hubba, hubba!!

      In a way, Steven reminds me a tiny bit of Mitch just because he's kind of your silent and deep type who smoulders inside like Mr. Dennehy, you know?? Sigh. I hope you enjoy it. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Oh Julie I know I'll like it!;p
      Oh yeah I know what your mean about the smouldering inside!:)
      I am SOO excited to read this book!

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  39. oH OH OH OH! I hadn't seen the cover yet!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

    I started AHR but had to put it down :(. Not meant to be read while on hydrocodone... Hope to pick it back up this week!

    Love you friend! Which one is my fave?! Based on this snippet? ALR ;).

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    1. Oh, CAROL, seriously??? I am thrilled that you like the cover and I SO appreciate your kind words, but I have to be honest -- it's not my fave of all my covers. And, yes, we want you drug-free when you read my books, please, so you can suffer all the drama and angst FULL THROTTLE, you know?? ;)

      I have a feeling you are going to like ALS because Steven is a bad boy gone good, even if it isn't for the right reason, so he is constantly trying to protect the heroine from bad boys ... ESPECIALLY himself! :)

      Thanks for coming by, sweetie -- love ya!

      Julie

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    2. Yeah - I was reading pages 2 and 3 times and finally had to just stop and hope you'd still love me ;).

      You, my sweet friend, are getting another big ole hug in Dallas this year. Unless I can convince you to do lunch when I head [at least sort of] your direction in May :D.

      Delete
    3. Hey, girlfriend, you just give me some notice, and we'll do lunch or coffee whenever you want, okay? Or maybe you can swing by my house for hazelnut coffee or peppermint tea (my hubby's and my new craze!) down on the lower deck with, of course ... chocolate chip cookies!! ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    4. You're on! Our 15th anniversary is this year. Should be making reservations for STL soon :D. Will email you when I know more ;).

      And cookies?

      For you, anytime, darlin'!

      Delete
  40. I'm so excited to see this. My mom is also an avid reader and passes along books she thinks I would like to read. She recently discovered your books and liked them so much that she bought them all. She gave them to me the last time I saw her, and they are next in my to-read pile. I'm so looking forward to reading them, especially after reading all the great comments here. I'd love to get A Love Surrendered to complete the set.

    terrigf(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. TERRI!!! Oh, how fun -- your mom introduced you to me??? Give that woman a GIANT hug from me for A.) reading my books in the first place, B.) buying them! and C.) Trying to hook her daughter on them too. I do believe that's a woman I would like to meet! :)

      I would sure love to complete her set with ALS as well, so GOOD LUCK in the contest, sweetie, and when you read them, PLEASE start with book 1, A Passion Most Pure, okay? This is a series best read in order due to a couple of big surprises in that book, so you'll definitely want to start there.

      Thanks again, Terri!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  41. I own A Passion Most Pure and love it! I plan on reading the entire series, but I'd love to have a signed copy of A Love Surrendered - it sounds like it'll be a great book!!!

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    1. Hey, AMANDA, SO glad you have the first building block to this passionate saga, and let me just tell you ... it gets more and more complicated from now on. ESPECIALLY with book 3, A Passion Denied, because I incorporate sub plots for each of the married couples, including Patrick and Marcy.

      I remember HATING series where I fell in love with a couple in book 1, then MAYBE they would have a brief cameo appearance in book 2. It would break my heart because I was close to these characters and didn't want to say good-bye. Well, in my books, you never say "good-bye" until the last book ... which is A Love Surrendered. And I can only HOPE AND PRAY it's as you say, "a great book"!

      Good luck in the contest, sweetie. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  42. Ohhh, what a great sneak peek! Thanks for letting us read it, Julie! I'd have to say my favorite book so far is A Passion Denied. There's just something about Brady that gets me every time. ;)

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    1. Hey, SARAH, thanks for coming by, my friend!! SO fun to see another Seekerville friend here!! :)

      Yeah, that Brady has something about him, doesn't he, though? I think it's his quiet strength and passion for God, at least that's what it is for me.

      Thanks again for visiting, and here's hoping it nets you a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  43. I really enjoy Julie's style of writing she manages to really draw you into the stories. I have two of these books and would love to add more to my collections. Thanks for such a great interview and giveaway.

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    1. Hey, Patricia, thank you!! As a bona fide CDQ (caffeinated drama queen), I really LOVE to try and draw the reader into the story, almost like a movie they see in their head. That's because that is where I am when I'm writing -- in this bigger-than-life Irish family who sweeps me away, so if in some small way I can do that to my readers as well, than the caffeine has paid off! ;)

      Good luck in the contest, sweetie!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  44. I enjoy the excerpt of the book definitely want to read the series. I have not read any of the O'Connor books. I do own/read A Passion Most Pure and I loved it.

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  45. PATRICIA, you're back!! If you've read A Passion Most Pure, then you have definitely read the most important O'Connor book, and the others are just building blocks to a grand finale that will say good-bye to this passionate family in A Love Surrendered come October. I hope you get a chance to read the others before that, though, because it will certainly enhance the final book.

    Good luck!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  46. Julie is a new author for me - where have I been?? I loved the excerpt! I haven't read any of your books, but I'll be adding them to my TBR list! Thanks for the great interview, excerpt, and the giveaway!

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    1. REBECCA!!! Thank you SO much for your kind words, and I am SO glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

      I want to point, however, that this particular excerpt is pretty mild, meaning I do include a LOT of passion in my books -- both romantic AND spiritual, so be prepared! I am not a sweet, kiss-at-the-end-of-the-book type of author, and the reason is because I believe passion is important part of God's gifts to us that is greatly misused by the world. God is a God of passion, as so beautifully depicted in Song of Solomon, so I try to deal with romantic passion in a way that is realistic to the human condition, hoping to teach young girls and women that passion for God's precepts in a passionate romantic relationship is THE KEY to blessing.

      I started writing my first book, A Passion Most Pure, at the age of 12 after reading Gone With the Wind, so passion comes easily to me, I guess. BUT ... I happen to believe that it's JUST what God is looking for from us, too, which is what my blog subject is about this week -- A Passion for Passion, so if you get a chance, stop by Julie's Journal Jots at the link I gave to "Miss" above, okay? Also, if you scroll down in my Journal Jots, which I post every Friday, you will see more excerpts from my books that will give you a realllly good idea of my style of writing.

      Thanks again, Rebecca, for even considering to add me to your TBR, and good luck in this contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  47. Loved the sneak peek! I'd have to say my favorite book is still A Passion Most Pure, Collin still gets me all hot and bothered! I'm SO excited for A Love Surrendered!!!

    ecriggs1990(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. LOL, Liz, Collin has that effect on quite a few females, trust me. When Revell sent me the model head shot for Collin, all the gals in my office just about swooned when I slapped it on the cube cabinet over my desk. And would you believe that I STILL have that shot in my home office today because he such a cutie? :)

      But ... Steven definitely has promise, trust me. :) And if you get my newsletter, you know what he looks like because I've got a picture in there. And if you DON'T get my newsletter ... why not??? :)

      Good luck!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  48. Beautiful excerpt. I would like a copy of "A Heart Revealed". I haven't read any of Julie Lessman's books, so I'm unfamiliar with the O'Connors, but I do have "A Hope Undaunted" in my TBR pile, and I am hoping to win the next book in the series. Thanks for the opportunity. :-)

    gwen[dot]gage[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. GWEN -- another Seeker friend -- YAY!! And not familiar with the O'Connors??? Oh my, we need to rectify ASAP, girl, so I am hoping we pull your name because if so, I would dearly love to send you A Passion Most Pure and will BEG you to read it first before A Hope Undaunted. Yes, A Hope Undaunted can be read alone, but this is a series best read in order due to a several HUGE surprises in book 1, A Passion Most Pure. And A Passion Most Pure won American Christian Fiction Writers Debut Book of the Year in 2009, so I promise it's not a dog. :) So GOOD LUCK !!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  49. I love this excerpt! I think it's so cute! It's really hard to pick a favorite cause there all so great, but if I had to pick my most favorite is A Passion Most Pure. With a Hope Undaunted in a close second. I can't wait for a Love Surrendered! I'm so excited!

    happygurl1807[at]yahoo[dot]com

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    1. KAYLA!!! Hey, girl, SO good to see you here!! I'm glad AHU ranks up there to the top because it's my fave, but I love APMP too, of course.

      I am hoping you will like A Love Surrendered as well if not better, so GOOD LUCK in the contest, sweetie. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  50. My favorite Julie Lessman book? Oh my, I LOVE them all. It's just about time for me to read them again and I so impatiently wait for Steven's story. :) My least favorite was probably Charity's story, however I still liked the book and by now I love Charity, as I've followed up with her and the other girls in the last two books. These books are just the tops.

    kauppatgridcomdotnet

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    1. KATH, you sweet thing!! Just answered the e-mail you sent me and forgot to answer your question about the "squish"! It went well -- I LOVE these two sweet ladies who are the techs in this mobile unit I've been going to for years. Makes getting a mammo ALMOST fun! :)

      And you reread them too before the next book comes out??? That is EXACTLY what I do each year. I start with APMP at the first of August and read them all until I get my latest book, then I read that too. These people are family to me, after all! ;) But ... I just found out Steven's story is not coming out until October this year instead of September, so we have to wait an extra month. :( But ... I am hoping and praying it will be worth it!!

      Thanks for coming by AND for just reading my books! GOOD LUCK!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  51. Great selection! So sweet and pure, yet you can feel the sizzle of attraction between Steven and Annie. I would love to win a copy of A Love Revealed. I have read and loved Julie's first two books and already have the next two in my TBR pile. Of the two, I would have to say A Passion Most Pure is my fave because I love the parents in the series and I remember them more in that book. Hope to see more of them in all the books. crmcc at setel dot com

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    1. Hey, ROSE, thanks for coming by, sweetie, AND for the sweet comment about the excerpt above.

      And oh, girl, if you like Marcy and Patrick, you are going to LOVE book 3, A Passion Denied, because they have a WONDERFUL subplot that is one of my very favorites. Also, they have a GREAT sub plot in both A Hope Undaunted (Katie's story) and Steven's story, too, so you will get your fill of these two, I assure you.

      AND ... you may be happy to know that I am currently writing a Christmas prequel for Marcy and Patrick of how they met, which is a love triangle you will understand a little bit better after reading A Passion Denied. So happy reading, my friend, and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  52. Sorry--meant to say A Love Surrendered, but you can use the other title next if you want! LOL

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    1. LOL, Rose ... I like it!! :) Unfortunately the next book has already been titled "Love at Any Cost," otherwise I'd suggest it! ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  53. Thanks for the excerpt of her newest book. I haven't read any of her books yet, but have seen them. I added A Passion Most Pure and A Hope Undaunted on my tbr list some time ago and am planning on reading both series.

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    1. TRESSA!! Thank you for adding A Passion Most Pure and A Hope Undaunted to your TBR!! If I may, I'm asking you to PLEASE read A Passion Most Pure first, however, as this is a passionate family saga that is best read in order. APMP is the very first book that lays the groundwork for the others AND contains two big surprises that would be ruined if read out of order, although you can certainly do so. And then AHU is, of course, book 1 of the next series, which is the continuation of the O'Connor saga.

      Good luck in the contest and thanks for coming by!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  54. i'm hardpressed to say which excerpt i liked better, the newsletter one or this one!! don't enter me, as i'm on the reviewer list from revel, but i just had to comment on this excerpt. i LOVE using little kids to further romance in such an innocent, not-so-innocent way! love your writing, julie!

    jeannie
    the character therapist

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    1. JEANNIE!!! Girl, it's SO darn good to see you here, and I don't think I've told you, but I LOVE your new pic with the LONG HAIR!! I am such a long-hair freak myself, that I joke I'll be the only little old lady rocking on the nursing-home front porch with dyed brown hair down to my waist!! But it makes you look even younger than you are, which is saying something!!

      Oh, I'm SO glad you said that!! Being such a romance hound, I tend to gravitate toward the truly passionate scenes vs. the sweet ones, so I never know if I write the sweet ones well enough to suit, so I'm glad you enjoyed this "sweet" glimpse into Steven and Annie's relationship!

      Good luck in the contest, Jeannie, and you let me know the status on the book, okay??

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  55. I love all of Julie's books! I cannot wait for the last book to come out. I would love to win a copy!!! I think A Heart Revealed was my favorite! I loved seeing Emma's story unfold!

    Thank you Julie for such wonderful books!

    Jennifer

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    1. Hey, Jenn, thank you SO very much for your kind words, and it thrills me that A Heart Revealed was your favorite because I agree -- Emma SO needed her own story and who better to share it with her than sweet Sean?

      I do want to alert you that I just found out A Love Surrendered won't be releasing until October instead of September like usual, so a wee bit longer wait in store, but hopefully it will be worth it!

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

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  56. Julie, I loved hearing about your newest book. Can't wait! My fav is A Passion Most Pure because I adored Faith's backbone. She is a woman of strength whose example I would like to follow.

    Ann

    Ann_Lee_Miller[at]msn[dot]com

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    1. ALY!!! Nice to see you here, sweetie, and yes, Faith really is a woman of strength in this family, and Emma too! I see them and Brady as the strong spiritual ones in the entire saga.

      Hope things are going well in your neck of the woods, my friend, and here's to a win (although you and I both know I don't need to wish that for you! :)).

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. HEY, ANN ... tell me why you go by "Aly" for your addy? Just curious. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  57. A hope undaunted is my favorite book of this series so far, but this one looks very good as well! Wow! So excited! I haven't read a heart revealed yet, so I would love to win that one!

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    1. Thanks, CANDICE, for coming by, and AHU is my fave, too, in the entire saga, to be honest, although my hubby's fave is A Heart Revealed. WHICH we need to get in your hot, little hands, don't we?? Good luck in the contest, sweetie!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  58. Loved reading the segment from the upcoming book! I just finished 'A heart Revealed' so I would probably pick that as my favorite. I wasn't sure until the very end if things were going to turn out how I hoped!

    Patty

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    1. PATTY!!! Come on, girl, if you have read all of my books, you just GOTTA know that they ALWAYS end up happy and the way we want, right?? But, honey, I sure ain't gonna make it easy on you guys between page 1 and page 500-something because I am WAY too much of CDQ (caffeinated drama queen) for that! ;)

      Good luck in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  59. Hi...thank you for the entry in your giveaway. I enjoy your books very much, but haven't had the pleasure of reading this series yet. I'm not a blogger, just an avid reader that enjoys finding new books and authors to read, and bless all the book bloggers out there that keep me informed. Have a blessed day!

    Sandee61
    Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

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    1. He, SANDEE, thanks for coming by to leave a comment, but boy, oh boy -- we need to get this series in your hands, girl, because book 1 is Katie's story (and Cluny McGee's), and it is my FAVE of all my books, so you just gotta read it, okay? Hopefully your visit today will remedy that, so GOOD LUCK!

      HUGS,
      Julie

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  60. Wow! I have always thought that your books looked very interesting, so I am sorry to say that I haven't read any yet. I love the covers!!!

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    1. ABIGAIL!!! Thanks, sweetie, but I guarantee you the insides of these books are WAY more "interesting" than the covers, so we need you to win one, okay? And if you would like to read additional scenes from my writing to see if it's truly your cup of tea (because the above scene is very sweet, but most of my love scenes are very passionate), then head on over to my weekly blog on my website, called Journal Jots.

      I gave the link up above in one of the first comments because I have a LOT of excerpts in there with pix of movie stars that I envision for the heroes and heroines, so it will give you a VERY good idea of my writing and whether it's truly your taste or not, okay?

      Meanwhile, GOOD LUCK in the contest, sweetie!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  61. My favorite book has to be "A Passion Most Pure" Read it on a holiday a few years ago and couldn't put it down!
    Often I've read the back cover of a book and thought 'this looks so good'then started reading and been disappointed, but not with Julie's books! They are even better then the back cover writeup! Would love to win 'A Heart Revealed'
    Thanks for the giveaway Megan and congrats on your blogaversary!

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    1. WOW, CATH, what a sweet thing to say -- THANK YOU!! I do know what you mean about a book not living up to the blurb on the back or the pretty cover, and I am grateful that for you, my books do.

      I would LOVE to send you A Heart Revealed, so here's to a win, my friend.

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  62. Depending on my mood, my favorite alternates between, "A Heart Revealed", "A Hope Undaunted" or "A Passion Most Pure". About seven months until "A Love Surrendered" ... I don't know if I can hold on with all of these little excerpts coming out, haha. When is the first "Cousins McClare" book releasing? Was it Spring 2012 or 2013?

    I've been meaning to ask, Ms. Julie ... *bit of a "AHR" spoiler*

    Faith mentioned writing again in "AHR" ... are we going to see Colin's reaction and is it a subplot in "ALS"? I thought it would be touched on by the end of "AHR" but it never was ... =)

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    1. LDK!!! LOL ... at least you spread your favoritism around, girl!

      The Cousins McClare has been changed to The Heart of San Francisco series, and Book 1, Love at Any Cost is supposed to release April 2013, but as you can see with the release of ALS, release dates are never etched in stone. :)

      Ah, yes. I did intend to have a sub plot focused around Faith having a story published in a magazine, which she did NOT tell Collin about because she was afraid he'd get mad, but he was to have found out from a female customer. Unfortunately, my editor made me pare down quite a bit, both in AHR and especially ALS, so many of the sub stories I'd hoped to incorporate I was not able to. :|

      Good luck, sweetie, and thanks for voting in the Family Fiction contest too!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  63. Julie, Julie, Julie!!! How am I supposed to wait for the release of A Love Surrendered when you give such AWESOME excerpts of the book??? I want to snuggle up in my bed and read the whole thing, RIGHT NOW, and get to know Steven and Annie more.

    *sigh* the date can't come soon enough for me! And while I am VERY fond of the O'Connor family, I confess I am very eager to see what this new series will be like. It sounds really good!!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. KATIE!!! LOL ... I'm waiting with you, sweetie, because I want it out there NOW, but the publication process doesn't quite work like that, unfortunately.

      Thanks for your sweet comment, my friend, and I will admit that I am a wee bit nervous to introduce O'Connor fans to the McClares, only because they are NOTHING alike whatsoever!! With a wealthy Nob Hill political family, you don't have that homey feeling that you get with the O'Connor kitchen, not when servants wait on the family in a elegant dining room. BUT ... I'm doing the best I can to make this family a wee bit eccletic ... from a parrot that makes snide remarks to a bull dog named after the rogue uncle who broke the beautiful matriarch's heart years ago, to a butler who can't hear or see all that well. And don't even get me started on the McClares themselves -- the O'Connors they ain't!! :)
      But I do hope my reader friends like you will enjoy their antics and grow to love them as much as Marcy and Patrick's brood.

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  64. Oh! I forgot to follow the instructions. Woopsie! Okay, what I found most interesting about this post was in the excerpt, and how little Glory insisted on the kiss between Steven and Annie. I thought that was so funny and cute -- and true! It's amazing what awkward moments little siblings can create (and that's speaking from experience! :-P) Haha!

    And as for my favorite book by Julie...I'd have to say it A Heart Revealed. That one just completely swept me away!

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    1. Hey, KATIE, I did have a lot of fun with Glory in this story. She's a towhead Shirley Temple who brings a lot of life to Annie's spinster aunt's mansion where she and Glory now live.

      Thanks for your vote for A Heart Revealed -- that's my hubby's favorite, too, along with my aunt's, although Katie and Luke and Charity and Mitch still get my vote for favorite stories. :)

      Good luck in the contest, Katie, and thanks for coming by!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Lady DragonKeeperMarch 1, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      OMGoodness, a little Shirley Temple, eh? I can definitely see that!

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  65. Noooo! I cannot wait until September for this! That is way too long! I know this book, like all of Julie's, will be painful and agonizing, mainly due to the fact that I want the hero and heroine together ASAP! I guess I am just impatient like that. A Love Surrendered already looks like it will be a winner from this excerpt, and it just might bump A Passion Redeemed from it's favored spot in my heart. Well...there can always be two favorites. September, come quickly!

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  66. ANONYMOUS ... Uh-oh, I'm almost afraid to tell you that I found out last week ALS is not releasing until October instead of September like the other two books, which upset me as much as it may some of my readers!!

    In publication, release dates -- like book titles -- are as likely to change as the weather, so such is life. The up side of that is hopefully (I say "hopefully because like with ALS, one never knows) my first McClare book, Love at Any Cost, will come out six months after on April 1st, which is shortest amount of time I have ever had between books. But we'll see ... :)

    And as a gal who LOVES A Passion Redeemed (it's my fave of the DOB series), I'm not sure if ALS will bump it to 2nd favorite, but I do know there will be ample amounts of "painful" and "agonizing" in this final installment because I went through over 30 Kleenex editing it, and my personal record prior to that was 12 Kleenex, I think on A Hope Undaunted. :)

    I only hope and pray you think it's worth the wait, so good luck in the contest and as you said (almost) ... October, come quickly!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. Oh well, what's another month? I'm so excited! And just as much for your newest series! This will be difficult...I'll be at college next fall, so I might have to squeeze for reading time. Hmmm, homework or ALS...definitely the latter!

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    2. LOL, ANON ... Actually it may be better than September because you'll just be getting up to speed with school, but settling in come October before exams hit in December, right??? And there's always Thanksgiving break ... ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    3. Very true! Thank you Julie!

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  67. I've enjoyed them all...my favorite being the first one, A Passion Most Pure. But I'd love to be chosen to receive this new one. Need to find out how Steven and Annie figure it all out!

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    1. Whoops, KANDRA, I answered your comment below!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  68. Hey, KANDRA ... LOL ... Steven and Annie DO figure it out, but not without a LOT of angst and drama, I'm afraid, and then when they DO figure it out ... whoops ... more angst and drama!! ;) What can I say? I'm a certified CDQ!!

    Thanks for coming by and good luck in the contest!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  69. I've got four of Julie's books..I keep looking for book two to complete my series of the Passion books. Then I'll start reading them! Thanks for the great post!

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  70. https://twitter.com/#!/BurtonReview/status/17453
    3035541266433

    Having problems with the rafflecopter, I follow via GFC and there was my tweet.

    thanks.

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  71. MARIE!!! Oh, girl, we need to get A Passion Redeemed in your hands then, pronto!! It's my fave of the Daughters of Boston series. But I gotta tell you -- I SO admire you for not reading until you have the whole set because most readers tell me that once started, it's like a lit fuse licking its way from book to book!!

    I'm thinking that maybe if you get book 2 from the library, you can start book 1 because despite the size of the books, they are VERY fast reads. That is, if you don't win it here. Because if you win, sweetie, I will have A Passion Redeemed in the mail to you so fast, your head will spin. Of course, it might anyway, once you get into the books and see the angst and drama (and PASSION) I put these poor characters through ... ;)

    Good luck in the contest, Marie, and here's to a win!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  72. Here's my favorite!! Sean and Emma's story. http://lanehillhouse.blogspot.com/2012/01/heart-revealed-by-julie-lessman-c2011.html

    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. Oh, phooey, I did it again!! I should have replied to you here, KATHLEEN, but did so below instead! :|

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  73. KATHLEEN!!! Thank you SO much for posting that lovely review of AHR -- I never saw it before, so I am blessed!!

    Your review talks about all the wonderful Irish names in the book, but goodness, I fell in love with everything Irish after reading Gone With the Wind (the O'Haras, you know) at the age of 12, which is when I began writing book 1 of this series, A Passion Most Pure. I am only a quarter Irish myself, but I SOOO wish it were more!!

    Thank you for coming by, and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

    Hugs,
    Julei

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  74. Hi Julie! I love all of your books, so the one that I am reading would always be my favorite :)
    Have a great day,
    Tiffany

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    Replies
    1. Whoops ... did it again ... responded to your comment in a new comment instead of here!! See below.

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  75. LOL, TIFFANY -- that's what I like to hear, sweetie, so THANK YOU!! :)

    Appreciate you coming by and here's hoping it nets you a win! Good luck!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  76. I have A Passion Most Pure. Congratulations on your new book Julie! How exciting. Enjoyed meeting you at ACFW almost two years ago. :)

    Blessings,
    Jodie Wolfe
    digging4pearls(at)comcast(dot)net

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    1. Hey, Jodie, how the heck are you, girl??? Are you going to be at ACFW this year, I hope? I enjoyed meeting you two years ago and look forward to reconnecting, hopefully in Dallas this year.

      Thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK in the contest!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  77. Hi!!

    Of course, I love your books! And you certainly can't beat the first of the series :D...Even though I love all of them equally. I am SO excited for this next one!!

    Katelyn

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    1. Hey, KATELYN, thank you SO much, sweetie. Generally the first book in a series does the best for some reason, so APMP and AHU tend to be a lot of my readers' favorites because of that. But like a proud mama, I do love them all equally ... just differently. :)

      Good luck in the contest!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  78. Oh oh oh! I've got Book ONE in the Winds of Change Series -
    I'd love ANY of your books, Julie.

    It's been so great getting to know you and being able to read your books. I truly appreciate your heart!

    May God bless you with LOTS more too!

    joyjournaling@gmail.com

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    1. JOY!!! Hey, girlfriend, thanks for coming by, you sweetheart, you!! And I am realllly excited to see what you think of A Hope Undaunted -- as I mentioned to you, it's my fave and I'm anxious to see what you think. So if you like it, let me know. If not??? Uh, never mind ... :|

      It's been great getting to know you too, sweetie, and I appreciate your heart as well. I have to say that's one of the wonderful things about being a Christian writer -- getting to make wonderful new friends all the time!

      Good luck in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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