Friday, October 16, 2009

Julie Lessman ~ Guest Blog + Giveaway!

BAD BOYS GONE GOOD … and Book Giveaway!

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit it—I am an AVID Inspirational romance reader/writer with a weakness for bad boys. Not just any bad boys, mind you, but those smoldering, still-waters-run-deep kind of guys that weaken your knees. You know the type—the tall, brooding men with a questionable past and a penchant for the ladies? Because somehow, someway you just KNOW that underneath all those bad decisions these guys make, there’s a hurting little boy inside, desperate for a love that will save him. And I’m not just talking about the love of a woman, here, although I do like plenty of that in my books. Nope, I’m talking about the love of God, that deep and mysterious component that for me personally, ignites the WOW factor in a hero.

To me, there is nothing stronger than a wayward guy gone good. It takes strength of conviction and a lot of humility for a man to bend his knee to God, but when he does, he rises as a tower of strength and manhood, not in his own power, but in God’s. It’s like epoxy—the strength of a man combined with the strength of his Savior, recreating man as he was meant to be—a warrior, a protector and fiercely devoted to both God and the woman he loves.

Which is why in my Daughters of Boston series, all of my heroes were, at one time, bad boys—womanizers, drinkers, men driven by lust rather than love. Human beings with a painful past that throughout the course of my books, become human beings with a future of hope. From the moody good looks of Collin McGuire and the gruff, handsome appeal of Mitch Dennehy … to the quiet depth of passion in John Brady or the humble strength of Patrick O’Connor, there is nothing more romantic than a strong man who loves God.

So, here’s your chance to vote for your favorite Daughters of Boston hero in the poll to the right of this blog article. Just cast your vote, then leave a comment to tell me why you voted the way you did. Be sure to check back on October 23 when one winner will be drawn for a signed copy of their choice of one of the books in The Daughters of Boston Series. OR, if preferred, the winner may request a signed copy of book 1 of my next series, A Hope Undaunted, which is Katie O’Connor’s story, releasing Sept. 2010. And trust me … Cluny McGee is one “bad boy” you won’t want to miss! :) So vote for your favorite hero, and let’s just see if this “bad boy” doesn’t make “good” with a free book!



Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her white-hot passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year, Julie is also the recipient of 13 Romance Writers of America awards and resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever. She is the author of The Daughters of Boston series, which includes A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. You can contact Julie through her website at http://www.julielessman.com/

72 comments:

Jennifer said...

I absolutely LOVE these books! A friend bought me the first one and I was instantly addicted :D. I voted for Brady because not only does he have his own skeletons to release, but because he fights to help Collin and others turn to God. I can't wait for 'A Hope Undaunted'! I'm so excited to see what happens with the rest of the family members and what happens in the lives of the characters I already love. This series has also helped me in giving me inspiration and insight into my own walk with God. Thank you Julie, for using your talent!

Jen Tiller, Kansas

Julie Lessman said...

JENNIFER ... thank you SO very much for your kind words, especially the fact that the series has inspired you in your walk with God -- that blesses my socks of!!

You know, I thought Brady would have had more votes than he does because I received tons of e-mails from readers who loved him, so I am surprised he isn't doing better in the poll. But, I have to admit, Collin is hard to beat, although Mitch is my personal favorite. :)

Have a great weekend and good luck in the contest.

Carolynn W. said...

Wow, it's so hard to choose, I love them all. But I think it's a tie between Brady and Patrick. I love how Brady is just so totally in love with God and His word. Whenever He speaks, the wisdom of God comes forth, a person like that encourages me to just abide in Christ and let my heart and soul soak Him up.
And I love Patrick because of the strong pillar of support that he is for his family, teaching them Godly principles and values and never letting any of his children fall from the path of righteousness without fighting to get them back and being an example for them. Alhough he is not without faults, he is a great earthly father that anyone would be blessed to have.
But Colin and Mitch are great too....lol, like I said it's so hard for me to choose. I just love your books so much!
I just read the excerpt from Katie's book in your newsletter and now I can't wait to read it. A year is just too long to wait!! :) But I'll just keep re-reading the others till it comes out.
I would love to win it, thanks for the chance!
God bless you!
carolynnwald[at]hotmail[dot]com

Julie Lessman said...

CAROLYNN!!! So great to see you again, girl! Thanks for dropping and casting your vote.

And, yeah, I pretty much like them all too, especially since I wrote them and feel like I know them so well. I suppose I should go with Patrick because of my age, and I love him to pieces, but there is just something about crotchety, gruff Mitch Dennehy that is so appealing. Who knows, maybe it's because my father was a grouch growing up and I'm used to that ... :)

Good luck in the contest, Carolynn!

Hugs,
Julie

rebornbutterfly said...

Okay, after much internal debate, i think i'll have to go with collin. He's the hero in my favorite book of the series, so it just makes sense :)

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, SARAH, thanks for dropping by!! Much internal debate, eh? Bet that was an interesting conversation ...

Yeah, it's only fair if APMP is your favorite, that ya gotta go with Collin. :)

Good luck in the contest, sweetie.

Hugs,
Julie

Linda said...

It was a hard choice, but I went with Collin, mainly because he went after whatever he wanted, even though he knew who he really loved. He had to make a hard choice to relinquish his self-satisfying behavior and choose to follow the Lord. Which he did full-heartedly. Faith's strong faith stand also made it more difficult to choose. But it was a hard toss-up with John Brady in A Passion Denied.

Sandee61 said...

I voted for Mitch, who despite his gruff exterior is a kind loving man. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thank you!

Blessings,
Sandee

Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

Abi said...

I voted for Collin, because of where he came from and the great turn around he made.

Love Daughters of Boston series. Can't wait for the next. Thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, LINDA, thanks for casting your vote! I think the thing that I love about Collin the most is his depth of love, which I really play up in the next book, A Hope Undaunted. I also like his moodiness and his sensitivity. Of course, that "rogue" gleam in his eye is somewhat appealing as well ... that is, now that he's settled down with the love of his life. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, LINDA ... AND EVERYONE WHO ENTERS THE CONTEST -- forgot to tell you to let us know your e-mail address in case you win, okay? Just be sure to spell out the @ and the . before com to protect yourself against spammers. So your e-mail would then look like this:

lindaatcharterdotnet

Thanks!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

SANDEE ... oh, I am SO with you, girl! At least the Mitch in my head does, if not on the cover on the book. I have to admit, that Mitch's picture is the only one that I don't really feel fits how I pictured him. To me, he's bigger, broader, and a little more disheveled. Which is why I asked Revell to put a curl falling into his forehead -- it wasn't there in the original artwork. Yes, I know I can be a pain in the posterior when it comes to my covers, but Revell has been wonderful in putting up with me. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

ABI ... thanks SO much for your kind comment, and chalk one more up for Collin. I doubt the other guys will ever catch up!

Hugs,
Julie

-->Shinjitsu<-- said...

Hi Julie! Thanks for doing this contest! I'm really excited to see the results of the poll =)

As much as I like Collin, Mitch, and Patrcik, I voted for Brady because I relate with him so well. He struggles with his past in a way that makes him think that he's not good enough for anybody. I feel his pain and agony as he fights with himself over the issue of love and whether he is morally reprehensible. I personally empathize with that feeling of unworthiness and the struggle and desire for a love that you feel you don't deserve.

Brady is a character that learns how deep the redeeming power of love can be. Even though he feels like his chance for love is obliterated, he still turns others to God and keeps seeking His face. I also loved his dedication to Cluny ;) Following the life of Brady gave me such hope. The characters of your books seem to come alive on the pages...it's really an inspiration. His hopelessness is no match for God's tender mercy and kindness! I can't wait for God to bring that special someone along for me as well! Thanks for writing such wonderful books! I love Brady =) Can't wait for the next book!! God bless!

-Kayla

kaylacook90atgmaildotcom

Jennifer said...

I guess it would be an important thing...that email! lol

jlunderscoretilleratsbcglobaldotnet

Renee said...

Woohoo! Sign me up I wanna win A Hope Undaunted (why is September so far away?????)it sounds awesome...especially from that sneak peek in Julie's newsletter! I love love love the Daughters of Boston series and I thought Cluny was such a sweetie as a boy so I know he'll make a great hero!

As for the poll...it's a hard one but I think I have to choose Brady...just cause he's the strong silent type that is oh so appealing! ;-) But I've said it before and I'll say it again...that Collin on the cover of Most Pure is a HUNK!!!!!!!!!!:-P

Amanda said...

First off, this was a monumentally hard decision. I mean, how does a girl pick which Lessman bad-boy-gone-good she would give her heart to? Since I consider myself more of a Beth, you would think my choice would be Brady- with his understated good-looks, quiet strength, peaceful assurance, and passionate zeal for Christ. I love how he always wants to do the right thing, God's will not his own, even if it hurts. He was willing to sacrifice everything for the women and God he loves. He doesn't hide his faith, but wears it proudly to draw others to Christ. While all those qualities are amazing and rare, he just fell a little short of the mark for me. And compared to the others he really wasn't that “bad,” he only thought he was. Whereas, Mitch is the total opposite of Brady with his in-your-face masculine appeal, intimidating presence, powerful strength, and swing-first-ask-questions-later approach to life. He's like roaring, white-water rapids, ready to suck you into his mighty current if you get too close. I can see how a girl could easily loose her heart to him. He loves as fiercely as he fights. He could probably take on the world with only one muscled arm, and girls like to know their guy can protect them. But, for me, even Sampson fell a little short of the mark as well.

Now, I love Patrick O'Connor! He is a wonderful father, devoted husband, and man of God. Patrick is also the wiser more refined-by-age version of my one true love; the ultimate brooding-bad-boy-turned-godly-man… COLLIN MCGUIRE! I tried to fight it. I tried to pick another. But, like Faith, that slow smile with a hint of mischief in those clear gray eyes makes my knees weak every time! He loves with everything he is. He holds nothing back. He's romantic, sensitive, moody, gentle, funny, and passionate. He makes me wish I was an Irish red-head, with green eyes! He's grown and transformed the most of all the characters, probably because he's been there since the first page. Faith saw in him what only God could see, and that gave Collin the desire to change. Brady's constant prayers and witness gave him the strength to change. But only God can change the heart of a man, and even then the man has to be willing. Collin humbled himself and CHOSE to allow God to change him. He learned that the narrow path held lasting reward, instead of the wide with its momentary pleasure. He chose Christ and the women that loved him into His arms. What a love story! He's also the son-in-law with the closest, most personal relationship with every member of the family- he even bonded with Mitch when they beat the snot out of Michael. He's a great husband, a loyal friend, and I know he'll make a great dad, just like Patrick. So, it's true, the heart wants what it wants- and this heart wants Collin McGuire! Thank you Julie, for writing him and our other favorite Irish hero's (wait, is Brady Irish?). Like I said before, I would love a Collin-Mitch-Brady-mix, with a dash of Patrick for good measure! And I suspect Cluny will soon be part of that mix as well =)

Your Friend,
Amanda Stanley

Mrose608atcoxdotnet

Ashley.W said...

These books where so worth staying up, reading till 4:00 in the morning;). They really help me understand what a passion for God really is. I voted for Collin because, it seemed like he would never turn to God, like all hope had been swallowed up by his bitterness. Even when Collin had turned his back on God, God never turned his. In the end when he finally accepts God, it was a truly awesome moment. I just loved it. And you have to admit Collin is one hot Irish guy! Thank you Mrs.Lessman with blessing us with "The Daughters Of Boston" and soon the "Winds Of Change" series:^)
Love Y'all,
Ashley W;~)

Julie Lessman said...

KAYLA, you know I really wasn't that crazy about Brady as a love interest in the beginning because he was such a nice guy and SO godly that the part of me who likes bad boys didn't want to give him a chance. Don't get me wrong -- I loved him as a person, but not as a love interest. So I decided to give him a really bad past to help me like him a bit more (you know, the bad-boy syndrome that I am so partial to), and WOW, I ended up LOVING and appreciating him so much more than ever before. He truly is, of all the characters, the most God-driven, and I love that about him.

And although Brady doesn't play HUGE part in the next book, there is a fight scene between him and Cluny that was a lot of fun for me, so I hope you will enjoy it too.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

RENEE!!! Hey, girlfriend -- I wouldn't have pegged you for a Brady girl, but that just goes to show you that we are all different so we need different heroes to love!

And I know what you mean about Collins' pic on the cover. I know you probably heard me say this before on other blogs, but when Revell sent me the cover for A Passion Most Pure, there was the most namby-pamby picture of Collin on the cover that I broke down and cried. He looked like a pansy. So I asked Revell if they had any other shots from the shoot of the model (His name is Reed, and he was (at that time) a 21-year-old college student from Michigan), and they said, only one other, but everybody at Revell thought he looked too angry. I asked her to send it to me, and when I saw it, I broke down and cried because it was SO Collin -- angry that he wanted a woman he couldn't have. The chemistry was so think in that photo, that I told Revell we had to use it, so they did! Thank God my prayer partners and I had been praying for over two years for "anointed covers," because that one surely is.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

AMANDA!!! Yep, that "slow smile" always got me too, because I could just see it, spreading across his face like trouble. I guess Collin will always be special because he was the first hero in my head, and quite frankly, Mitch and Brady weren't even a gleam in my eye until I finished APMP!

I've told you this before, Amanda, but I will say it again because your comment proves it -- you have writing potential, girl!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Yes, ASHLEY, I will admit that Collin is "one hot Irish guy," but 4:00 AM???? Grin ... I'm not sure at my age if any guy would be "hot" enough to keep me up till 4:00 AM, but then you are A LOT younger than me.

Nonetheless, THANK YOU for your kind words and for taking the time to leave a comment. Good luck in the contest, my friend.

Hugs,
Julie

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

I'm finally here, Julie ~ I didn't forget about you! When I left this a.m., I didn't know I wouldn't be back home until after 9:00 p.m.! Did I have a TON of emails to wade thru, or what??? WOW!

Okay...you already know who my absolute favorite "bad boy" heart-throb is...COLLIN!! I've loved him from the first page of APMP, even though he was "making out" with Charity! Actually, I loved him before I even opened the book...he had my heart once I saw him on the cover! *sigh* He reminds me soooo much of Pierce Brosnan!

Don't get me wrong...I like the other guys, too, just not as much as Collin. I have to agree with Amanda ~ he really is sooooo "romantic, sensitive, moody, gentle, funny, and passionate" ~ you can't help but love him. BTW, great comment, Amanda!

Julie, you know I would LOVE to win a signed copy of A Hope Undaunted! I don't know how my hubby is going to put up with me until Sept. 2010!! LOL I'm going to be moaning and groaning about it taking sooooo long for this book to be released! I can't wait to see the cover art...I want to see what Katie and Cluny look like!

Thank you so much, Julie and Carman!
~ Lori

sugarandgrits{at}hotmail{dot}com

Ashley W. said...

I guess staying up till 4:00 am has taken it's unruly toll and I as I was about to give into sleep's persuasive call,I realised that I totally foregot to leave my e-mail address.So before I comeplely fall asleep......
i95fahrenheit[at]ymail[dot]com
Can't wait to see who wins|~)
Love Y'all,
Ashley

Julie Lessman said...

LORI!!!! So glad you made it, girl! How'd the interview go???

And you don't know how your hubby is going to put up with you until Sept. 2010?? Grin ... funny, my husband is asking the same thing ... :)

Regarding the cover art, I think Revell is leaning toward showing only Katie this time, no Cluny, which is easier for us because it's so hard to pick a guy that will appeal to everyone or even fit how I see Cluny. I am praying for another anointed cover like APMP to kick this series off, so say one for me, okay?

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

ASHLEY ... AH-HA!! So sleep deprivation DOES hit the young and beautiful too ... good to know!! I thought it was just us "seasoned" types. :)

Hugs,
Julie

P.S. I will be gone all day helping my son and daughter-in-law move into their own house (thank you, Jesus ... empty-nesters once again!!). Talk at y'all later.

Hugs,
Julie

genee robinson said...

I vote for collin, because to me out all the books I feel that it is was collin that had the hardest time turnig to god. Mitch even though at times he could be hard headed and was a man of god and so was brady. In the begining collin starts out as bad boy and wants nothing to do with god. Through out the book you can see in inner struggle that takes place with collin, like maybe he wants to learn about god but he's to bitter by his past to really open himself up to god. Then finally we see him turn to god and its such an amazing moment because his a change person. I mean he still has his bad boy looks but inside his a man of god. So my vote goes to collin hands down.Please enter me in for the contest:) I would love to win but if I dont its still nice to just talk about the books and the bad boys with other fans and of course julie lessman
god bless everybody
genee'

Julie Lessman said...

Hey GENEE ... I just sent you an e-mail about your newsletter question! :)

I like your thinking regarding Collin. You're right, he was the only Daughters of Boston hero who was angry at God and had to work through that, so I can see why he is a favorite for so many of my readers. I always saw him as a man with a great capacity to love -- he just needed God to show him (through Faith AND through faith) what real love actually is. Both he and the love inside of him grows and matures in each successive book, finally culminating in book 1 of the next series (Katie's story, A Hope Undaunted), when his bottomless depth of love brings true sacrifice to both him and Faith. I think it will be a pretty powerful sub story in my next book, and I hope you will think so too.

Thanks, Genee, for your support -- I really, REALLY appreciate it.

Hugs,
Julie

Alissa Anderson said...

My friend told me about the first book and i remember being in Hawaii reading the book not wanting to put it down. Out of all the men in the books though my favorite would have to be Brady. Brady from the begining was a strong man who did not care what others thought of him and was strong when temptation came his way. I think that he is a great example of what a true man of God should be. I only wish that their were more men like him. Thanks for all your books, Can't wait to read katie's story.

Julie Lessman said...

ALISSA!!! Are you Genee's friend? She told me about you if you are. :)

Sooo glad you enjoyed A Passion Denied AND that you're casting a vote for Brady. I truly believe there ARE men like Brady around, just few and far between, I guess. Back in the 70s when I was part of the Jesus movement, there were LOTS of guys like Brady, crazy-on-fire for God, no kidding! And actually, my daughter just graduated from Truman University last May, and she told me that there were a number of guys like Brady in CCF (Christian Campus Fellowship). So they're out there, Alissa, just keep your eyes peeled ... I always tell my daughter -- Remember, there are TONS of the wrong guys out there, but only one right one for you, so if you run into all the wrong ones first, don't get discouraged.

Hugs,
Julie

Pepper Basham said...

Oh Julie,
I know Collin's going to win!! (note the exclamation marks) ;-)
Despite the fact that the book cover picture of him makes me swoon, I can't help but adore the romantic.

Oh gee, Faith is a lucky woman.

I do like Brady next - but there's just something about Collin...collective sigh.

I can't wait to find out about Cluny though. Yipee. More Julie Lessman to come.

Pepper Basham said...

Oh wait...the contest. Please enter me. pepperbasham@yahoo.com.

Joetta Raber said...

I voted for Collin - I just love how God redeemed his past and gave him the wife he thought he didn't deserve... but, isn't that so like God? Keep writing Julie... love your books!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, PEPPER ... Thanks for dropping by! And I know what you mean about the cover. When Revell sent the model head shot to me prior to the cover shoot, I pretty much swooned too ... although I did feel he was a little slight to be the Collin in my mind (you know me and tall, big men!!). Anyway, I taped Reed's picture (that was the model's name) on the cube storage bin over my desk at work, and whenever I needed a little lift, I would just look up and smile. :) He sure is cute ...

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JOETTA!!! Soooo great to see you here, my friend, and thanks for your vote ... both for Collin AND for my books.

And, YES, it IS just like God ... giving us what we don't deserve ... uh, and unfortunately ... sometimes what we do! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Virginia C said...

Hello, Julie! Your post is so close to how I feel about romantic male characters. I voted for Mitch. The "tough but tender" fellow wins my heart every time! Please enter my name in the drawing. I am a new follower.

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Julie Lessman said...

YEAH, VIRGINIA!!! A gal after my own heart! There is just something about Mitch that grabs my heart too, so much so that I find myself having to resist writing his scenes so much longer than others in my next series. I just LOVE writing about him, and I'm really glad you love reading about him too!

Thanks for your support and for dropping by to leave a comment. Good luck in the contest!

Hugs,
Julie

Holly said...

I have to say it was a very tough choice, as I love all the heroes, but it was a toss up between Collin and Brady. Although Brady is a favorite because of his intense love for God, I had to go with Collin because he had the biggest transformation.


Holly
oceandreamerfla(at)aol(dot)com

Kara said...

Well I'm seriously considering changing my vote now that I've seeen that I'm with the masses on Collin!

As much as I love all your heroes Julie I think there's something about the Faith/Collin combination that still has my heart!!

xox Kara

Kara said...

Hold On! September 2010????!!! How on earth am I supposed to wait that long??!!!

Lindsey B. said...

hey, i loved the daughters of boston series! absolutely loved it! i couldn't put any of the books down!!! haha. =D i would like to be entered for the give-away. thanks for having the give-away, carman! love
email: cookiemonster1018@cox.net

R@CH3!!3 said...

I had a hard time choosing between Colin and Mitch...But in the end I choose Mitch. Because even though he was no-nonsense he turned out to be kind. I would love love LOVE to be entered to win a copy of A Hope Undaunted. I have loved your book so much They are so interesting!! (:

pianochick92[at]yahoo[dot]com

dscribble88 said...

Julie, I love all of your books so much!!! I am so excited for Katie's story, the little sneak peak you gave is so good!
hmmm...My favorate bad boy...I would have to say Mitch. Thank goodness he went with his true feelings in the end, but even though he was head over heals with Charity, I was so glad he waited until the right time, when they were both ready, sooo deep down isn't such a bad boy. :)
Thanks for your books, they are such a blessing!
Katie
dscribble88@gmail.com

Jennifer AlLee said...

My vote goes to Collin, because he was the first in the series... and there's always a special place in your heart for a first love :+} That, and he's pretty doggone hunky!

Congrats on A Hope Undaunted. I can't wait to read it :+}

Jen

Jessica said...

I loved Cluny! You wrote him so well. What an adorable, precocious kid. I'm so glad he's getting with Katie. LOL

I'm still partial to Collin. :-) Mitch and the others are great, but it's that moody hero that makes me want to squeal. LOL

Mary Connealy said...

Like so many others I just keep flipping them around, trying to pick a favorite.

Brady in many ways. He's the lightest and the darkest. Collin probably, though I did want to give him a beating.
Poor put-upon Mitch. Gruff, good word for him. But he wanted Charity so badly and would NOT settle for less than a woman of faith.

Great books, Julie. Don't put me in the drawing. I've got all my copies. I think I need to go re-read them, though. I love remembering those good/bad boys. :)

Angie said...

I voted for Collin and the reason why is because when I first "met" him I really didn't like him. But as he slowly gave his heart to the Lord and started to change it made me smile and understand what Faith saw in him. Plus I just loved the connection Faith and Collin had.

sundaisy920 at gmail dot com

Thanks! :)

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, HOLLY, so good to see you here! And we have another Collin vote, which means our first bad boy is running away with it in a landslide!! As mentioned by several others above, Collin IS the bad boy who experienced the biggest transformation, but I have to wonder if the reason he is so favored is also because A.) He was the first hero that captured readers' hearts and B.) He is the most handsome hero on the three covers with a true "bad-boy" look. Just curious ...

Hugs,
Julie

Pepper Basham said...

A is out for me, Julie. I read a Passion Most Pure last of the three books.

I was introduced to your writing with Charity's story - so - it has to be partially B for me AND the fact Collin's transfomration is so big + he's dangerously charming.

Sigh... I'm grinning like an idiot.

Julie Lessman said...

KARA ... I do agree about the "Faith/Collin" combination -- there is something strong and special about that to me as well, I think because Faith is such a strong woman of God, that she makes a great foil to Collin's bad boy, allowing for wonderful chemistry/conflict as well.

And, sigh, I'm with you, Kara ... I'm going to have trouble waiting that long too! Guess I'll just have to bide my time by writing more books ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LINDSEY -- thanks SO much for your kind words, and I wish I could give a signed copy away to everyone who's commented, but I'm afraid my husband would have something to say about that ... :)

Good luck in the contest, Lindsey!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

R@CH3!!3 ... You know, I had a hard time choosing between those two as well, so you and I were in the same boat. But like you, I went with Mitch for the exact same reason -- I love a strong no-nonsense man who won't let me get away with murder, but whose heart is so tender toward me that I just KNOW he is crazy about me -- which is how Mitch is with Charity. Of the three heroes, I liken Mitch the most to my other favorite hero in books -- Rhett Butler. Strong men both, whose one weakness is the women they love. Sigh.

Thanks for your comment!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

KATIE ... Yes!!! Another Mitch vote for the hulky, grouchy bear with a heart as soft as heated honey! And, I totally agree that Mitch waiting that six-month period to pray about whether Charity is right for him was important and just underscores his strength. Thanks for your vote, and good look in the contest!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JEN!!! Sooo good to see you here! And great reasons, my friend, so thanks for casting your vote. And trust me, I can't wait for you (and everyone else) to read A Hope Undaunted, either! Wish it was releasing tomorrow ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JESSICA!! So great to see you here as well! Thanks for the kind comment on Cluny -- it means a lot because I absolutely LOVED that kid from the get-go. I don't know if you have heard me say this on any blog, but I had no intention of giving Cluny the huge role he has in A Passion Denied. He was just going to be a quick blip in the beginning to show Brady's kindness to kids.

BUT, the little street urchin stole my heart and literally FORCED me to write him into the story, which I obviously did. And if you think you like the little beggar in Denied, just WAIT till you read him in A Hope Undaunted ... WHOA, baby, be still my heart!! My best hero to date, and trust me, he will give Collin McGuire a run for his money in the hubba-hubba department ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

MARY!!!! Thanks for stopping by, my friend -- always great to see you!

And speaking of hunky heroes ... HELLO!!! Mary Connealy has some of the best, and if you guys haven't read her yet, get busy, because she's THAT good!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

ANGIE ... ahhhh ... another Faith/Collin connection!! I agree, it is definitely the strongest relationship in the three books (other than Patrick and Marcy) because Mitch and Charity do still have minor issues they deal with and Brady and Lizzie are so new by the end of the series. But ALL the relationships will grow (through more heart-pounding problems) in the next series, so get ready for lots of ISSUES!! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

PEPPER, NOooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You read them out of order and STILL liked them as well???? Just imagine how much you would have liked them with all the big surprises in book 1.

And for those of you who have not read this series yet, I'm begging you -- PLEASE try to read them in order, okay? And PLEASE tell your friends to read them in order too.

Pepper, you're forgiven ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Pepper Basham said...

Sorry Julie,
Didn't mean to mess up the alignments of the planets or anything.

I didn't even know about the books until I received A Passion Redeemed with Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. Then, I emailed you and thanked you for the book. Wonderful! Made me feel tons better about what I write.

So, when book #3 came out and I knew Brady's story was going to be in it...well, what did you expect me to do. Collin and Faith could wait ;-)

Oh boy, was it worth the wait.

I'll try to do better with the next series, but I've never been good with order.

I figure in any way, shape, form, or order I can get your books - I'll take them. Signed or not ;-)

Same thing for Mary Connealy. Fantastic

Pepper Basham said...

Nice use of exclamation marks, btw ;-)

Julie Lessman said...

PEPPER ... you little minx, what are we going to do with you???!!! Use more exclamation points, I guess ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

PatriciaW said...

Patrick. As much as I love young love, as an "old married woman", I really enjoy reading about married couples who fight to hold on to marriage covenant. Over bumps in the road, up a few hills, through difficult times.

I love the passion and devotion between Patrick and Marcy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie. I have to say I haven't read any of your books yet. But oh I want to. Over the past year and a half I've been "bothered" with a story rolling around in my head, a romance of course. One of my friends told me I need to write it down if it was "bothering" me so much and so for the last six months as scenes from this book have come to me. Then in the past six weeks, I've practically devoured Christian fiction. To the point my husband kind of wonders about me I guess. All of that to say, one part of my head is wondering and asking God, why exactly am I so obsessed with reading fiction and writing my story. It all seems weird and yet, I find the more I read and look up authors the more I learn. Your type of story, with the passion included with the God part of the story sounds more like what I'm writing. I HAVE to read your books. I struggle with too much kissing and hugging and yet that makes my heart race, especially as the characters work through these feelings in light of their walk with Christ. Oh my. So my response isn't at all what you were asking for, but I'm so excited to learn about your books. I'd love any of them, to read and learn, as I "write" along my adventure. Thank you for what you do. :) Kathy
kauppatgridcomdotnet

Julie Lessman said...

PATRICIA!!! As an "old married woman" myself, move over, girl! I SOOO agree with you about wanting a more "seasoned" love story between a man and a woman who are not, shall we say, spring chickens? I cannot TELL you HOW frustrated I got reading books where there was no romance between 1.) married couples and 2.) anyone over the age of 40. Give me a break!! Why do the young kids have all the fun? As a romance-loving Baby Boomer, I cannot tell you how much this ticked me off!

So I did something about it -- I wove Marcy and Patrick's romance into the fabric of my novel, and in ALL honesty, sooo much of their story comes from my own life because I have LIVED it for the last 30+ years of marriage. And you know what? It should be a TOTAL blessing to the young marrieds and singles out there to know that Marcy and Patrick's marriage is not a fabrication -- it's based on what I have with my own husband, so yes, ladies -- it is possible! BUT ... ONLY with Christ in the center, a lot of hard work AND fierce application of His precepts.

Thanks for your comment, Patricia -- it really blessed me!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

KATHY ... I am SO proud of you for leaving a comment even though you haven't read my books because it JUST occurred to me yesterday that this blog/vote is geared to those who have read my books, so good for you for stepping up and correcting that.

AND You know what?? We need more authors who are willing to broaden the market for Christian romance with a bit edgier stuff like mine. So many of the young gals today read secular because it's hard to find in the Christian market the kind of romance and attraction that they have to wrestle with every day in this amoral society. I am trying to change that and give the Christian market a spectrum of romance to choose from -- from Amish to the more romantically tense books like mine. It's a battle for the hearts and minds of a young generation who are exposed to immorality in every medium today, from books to movies to music. I for one would like to reach some of them with God's precepts, and we need all the help we can get, so good for you, Kathy. Just pray and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and let God take you and your writing where He wants you to go.

Good luck in the contest, and if you don't win, request A Passion Most Pure from your library if they don't already have it, okay?
Hugs,
Julie

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Awwww! No Cluny?? *sigh*

You know you have my prayers, Julie!

~ Lori

Julie Lessman said...

LORI ... yeah, I know, I'm a little sad, too, especially since I SO picture the grownup Cluny like the Brad Pitt photo I put in my newsletter, except with closer to white-blond hair! But who knows, maybe Revell will change their minds.

And THANK YOU for your prayers, my friend -- ALWAYS appreciated!!

Hugs,
Julie

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Sounds perfect! *sigh*

You're welcome ~ Love ya!

~ Lori

Kayla(kaykay)- Julie Lessman Fan! said...

First off I want to say that I love Julie's books. They ROCK!!!!! I voted for Collin. There is just something about he's and Faith's story I love. I feel like me and Faith are the same person. I love all of them but I have to say the first one is my favorite. I can't wait for the next book. If I don't win anything else in my life, I hope I win this. I really want A Hope Undaunted. Good Luck to everyone!

happygurl1807[at]yahoo[dot]com

Julie Lessman said...

KAYLA ... WOW, thank you SO much for your kind comment AND for loving my books -- you and all my incredible reader/friends "ROCK" for encouraging me like you do.

And I'd love for you to win too ... if not on this blog, then on one of the other blog giveaways I am doing (check my website calendar) or in my newsletter contest going on till the end of the year. Not only can you win a signed copy of A Hope Undaunted, BUT you might also win having a character named after you or a loved one in book 2 of the series, A Heart Revealed, which is Sean and Emma's story. So I encourage you to sign up for my newsletter at my website if that sounds like something you might like to do. Thanks again for your sweet comment.

Hugs,
Julie

Kayla(kaykay)- Julie Lessman Fan! said...

Hey I was reading through some of the comments, and saw one that said No Cluny. I was just wondering what that meant. He's still going to be in the story right?

Julie Lessman said...

Hey KAYLA, no worries ... Cluny is the bona fide hero (and a yummy one at that!!) in the next book, A Hope Undaunted. What that statement about "no Cluny" meant was that I don't think Revell plans to put a picture of him on the cover, only of Katie O'Connor ... but that could change, I suppose.

Hugs,
Julie