Thursday, September 2, 2010

SPECIAL Author Interview: Julie Lessman (w/ Giveaway!!!!!)

Oky folks, THIS is the giveaway I have been just dancing about hosting. Grinning non stop and sooooo excited to share with you. Yeah I know, it's just another giveaway, but this is extra, extra SPECIAL, because my dear friend and one of my favorite authors, JULIE LESSMAN is ON THE BLOG!!!!!!!!  I FINALLY get my turn to host this wonderful lady, (it's about time wouldn't you say???) so sit back, read the interview and then enter to win her latest book, A Hope Undaunted (or your choice of one of her Daughters of Boston series)

Welcome to Writing for Christ! Thank you for being with us today.
Tell us a little about yourself! (Casey … this is not a question you want answered, right?)
Actually YES, Julie, so I will share your bio here. *grin*

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 13 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction”. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son and daughter-in-law and is the author of The Daughters of Boston series, which includes A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. You can contact Julie through her website at http://www.julielessman.com/ .



1: How long did you write before you were published?

Well, that depends. You see, I actually started writing A Passion Most Pure at the age of 12 after reading Gone With the Wind, but it wasn’t until 40 years later that God breathed new life into that early attempt and inspired me to finish my childhood novel of passion—only this time the “passion” would be for Him!

It happened in 2001 when I was sitting in a beauty shop reading a Newsweek cover article about how Christian books, movies and music were on the threshold of exploding. Something in my spirit said, “Now is the time to finish your book,” so I started APMP the next month. From that point, it took me approximately five years to get published—eight months to write the novel (while working a part-time day job), three years spinning my wheels trying to get an agent or publisher on my own, and then about six months to sell after I got an agent. You see, in 2005, I finaled in the Inspirational category of the RWA Golden Heart contest, the biggest romance contest out there for unpublished authors. That contest helped me to catch the eye of my agent Natasha Kern, who sold me in a 3-book deal within six months despite 39 prior rejections. Now that’s a great agent!

2: When you held that first book in your hands, what was your first thought?

Gosh, that seems so long ago, but it’s only been two and half years! I distinctly remember tearing up, hardly able to believe that God had done this for me! You see, in high school, my friend and I (also a writer) would joke about writing a novel some day, but to be honest, neither of us ever really believed it would happen. But God says in His Word to “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart,” and I’m here to tell you, it works BIG time!!

3: What are you working on now?

I just finished book 2 in the “Winds of Change” series, A Heart Revealed, which is Emma and Sean’s story, so it’s in the hands of my editor right now. My husband says it’s his favorite of all the books, and my aunt called it “a gangbuster of a story,” so I hope that means my editor will like it too! Then I have about 35 pages written on book 3 in that series, working title A Trust Restored, which is Steven’s story and a new heroine who will be mentored by guess who? Faith O’Connor McGuire! She will eventually have a very strong faith just like Faith did in A Passion Most Pure, which I feel will bring the O’Connor saga full circle before it concludes forever. Sniff.

I have plans for another 3-book series that I am tentatively calling “The Cousins McClare” (although series title change as quickly as book titles once a publisher is involved!). It will take place in early 1900 San Francisco and the Barbary Coast. Think two rich cousins and one poor one … and guess who the hero (a poor Collin bad-boy type who’s looking to marry a rich wife) falls in love with???

4: Sounds SO exciting, I love those title to this latest series! Where can readers find out more about your books?

That’s easy—just visit the “Books” tab of my website at http://www.julielessman.com/books/ , where they will find brief descriptions of all of my books.

5: What message(s) do you want to be clear to your readers?

The MOST important message I am trying to get across with my books is how natural and fulfilling an intimate relationship with God can and SHOULD be. Like breathing. These books may be fiction, but this is NOT a fairy-tale here. It is possible to have a living, breathing relationship with the God of the Universe. He’s crazy about each of us, and if most people really understood that, their lives would turn on a dime and blessings would overtake them. And trust me, I know this firsthand—I used to be a hard, cynical, coarse human being before God pulled me up by the scruff of the neck and said, “Yo, Julie! Get a clue. You’re the apple of my eye!”

The second most important message I hope to convey in my writing is that lust is not love. So many young girls today equate strong sexual feelings with love, so they move in with their boyfriends for a while, get married and then wonder why the marriage doesn’t work. Because although sexual attraction is nice, it doesn’t sustain a marriage and will eventually fade when the marriage does. Not only that, but I truly believe young women cut themselves off from God’s blessings in a relationship when they go against God’s precepts (the Deuteronomy 30 principal that is a major theme in A Passion Most Pure).

I believe this so strongly, in fact, that I drummed it into my kids’ heads from little on. Imagine my joy and shock when my college-age son told me what he said to his roommate, a Christian young man who was sleeping with his Christian girlfriend. “But I thought you loved her?” my son told his friend, and the friend answered, “I do, which is why it’s so hard to stop.” My son’s response? “No, because if you really loved her, you’d want God’s best for her instead of cutting off His blessings by giving in to your own lust.” WHOA … you mean they actually LISTENED when I talked??? Let me tell you—that was a “proud mom” moment, for sure!

6: What are two things that people wouldn't normally know about you as a writer and or person?

Well, since I am a pretty honest, bottom-line, no-holds-barred type of gal, most people know a lot about me because basically what you see (or read) is what you get. But … as a person, most people don’t know that I used to be a pretty hard, cold, callous individual who didn’t love many people and was a hardcore agnostic. I remember spouting off that they should burn the Bibles the Gideons placed in hotel rooms because I was that angry about God. And this will shock some people, but I never shed a tear at the age of sixteen when my mom died because we were not close, was not close with any of my nine sisters or three brothers except one sister, and wasn’t even sure if I loved my husband when I married him. All I knew was that I was happier with him than without him.

But in the midst of all this bitterness and anger and hurt, my first prayer partner and the person who brought me to Christ gave me what she felt was a word from the Lord. It basically said, “Julie, you cannot call yourself mine until you love others.” I honestly did not know how that would even be possible because I didn’t think I could ever really “love” anyone. But Jesus Christ transformed me (you shall be transformed by the renewing of your mind, Romans 12:2) and taught me to love Him through my obedience (if you love me, obey me, John 14:23-24) and lo and behold … one day I woke up and realized I not only had a deep, burning love for God and my family, but all the “others” that He’s called me to love. That is why I spend so much time with comments on blogs and responding to e-mails because the truth is, God has put an honest-to-goodness love in my heart that I simply cannot hold back. Does it eat up my time and prevent me from writing my books at times? Oh, yeah. But I like what St. Francis Assisi said: “At all times preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.”

Thank you for being with us today. Any final words for readers?

Just that I want to thank you, Casey—for allowing me to connect with your readers. Also, I LOVE to hear from my readers, so they can contact me through my Web site at http://www.julielessman.com/ , either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter, in which I feature book giveaways. Finally, I invite your readers to visit The Seekers, a group blog I’m a part of that talks about “The road to publication. Writing, contests, publication and everything in between.” You can find us at http://seekerville.blogspot.com/ .

God bless and hugs,

Julie


See why I love having her here?? She just is an outpouring of God's love and her first book A Passion Most Pure has helped me to grow so much and I feel like Faith and I could be sisters (or at least really good friends), because in her I see what I want to be. It overflows in my heart when I think of how grateful I am for this wonderful lady and the books she has written and is writing. I can't thank God enough for you Julie!!!

Now, on to the contest, which is why you came right??

Here is your chance to enter to win A Hope Undaunted or your choice of one of the Daughters of Boston series.

PLEASE LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS! If I draw your name and there is no email, YOU WILL NOT WIN!

For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

And a NEW one:
~Sign up for Julie's newsletter (which is a great one, I know, 'cause I get it. ;-)

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on September 11th.

SPREAD THE WORD, JULIE LESSMAN IS IN THE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (or on the blog in this case ;-)

132 comments:

  1. I'd love to be added to the list for your giveaway. I'm a new subscriber to Julie's newsletter and enjoy her books. Thank you!

    I also enjoy your blog and all the great reviews you do.

    Blessings,
    Sandee61

    Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

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  2. Fun blog! Thanks for offering her book. I am a follower and subscriber and signed up for Julie's newsletter.
    wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

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  3. What a great and interesting interview! I would love to win A Hope Undaunted. This was such a great series. I loved the 1st two books,the element of humor mixed in with serious subject matter,and of course romance. Can't wait for the next series!

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  4. What an interesting interview. I'm still waiting to read this new one. I haven't seen it in my local store yet, but I hope it's coming.

    I just became a follower and subscriber, and I already get Julie's newsletter.

    Holly
    oceandreamerfla(at)aol(dot)com

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  5. I just love you, Julie! Can't wait to hug you in two weeks!!! I'm so sorry you went through such a hard time as a young person, but God had--and has--his hand on you!!! You're very special.

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  6. Oh, I can't imagine how proud that must have made you when your son said that to his roomate. These are the things I just pray that my kids will see modeled and learn.

    And when you talked about losing your mom at 16 and being bitter at God and lacking emotion...that hit home for my family. My brother was 16 when my dad died (and I personally think that must be one of the roughest ages to lose a parent because you are just trying to find your way between childhood and adulthood and especially a same-sex parent)...and that was his exact response. Now 8 YEARS later, he's begun attending church and let me tell you I am so excited. I don't know how I would have made it through the loss of my dad without the Lord's comfort and strong presence.

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  7. Oh my goodness, this book is finally out! Put me out of my misery and give me the book. :)
    Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

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  8. The book is here!! *big smile* Coolio!! Please count me in on the giveaway! :-D

    legacy1992(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. This was such a great interview and I would love to win the book. Thanks for the chance ybutler@oppcatv.com

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  10. Thanks for the giveaway, count me in!
    ~Lauri
    http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
    l_meinhardt@yahoo.com

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  11. I subscribe by e-mail Thanks ybutler@oppcatv.com

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  12. I follow!
    ~Lauri
    http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
    l_meinhardt@yahoo.com

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  13. I subscribe
    ~Lauri
    http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
    l_meinhardt@yahoo.com

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  14. I follow on Google Friend Connect and thanks all the entries. ybutler@oppcatv.com

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  15. I signed up for Julie's newsletter.
    ~Lauri
    http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
    l_meinhardt@yahoo.com

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  16. I follow on Google Friend Connect and thanks all the entries. ybutler@oppcatv.com

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  17. Gabriella Dawn SmithSeptember 2, 2010 at 8:44 AM

    great interview!!! i always love folling julie's interviews she is just so real and open! and goodness her books are AMAZING!! thanks for hosting the wonderful interview! be blessed

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  18. I soooo wanted to be entered!!!

    I am a follower.

    I am a subscriber.

    I signed up for her newsletter.

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  19. I would like to enter for A hope Undaunted....martha(at)lclink(dot)com

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  20. Great Interview, Casey and Julie,

    Can really see Julie's heart in her work and interview. And your's Casey, for opening up your blog and inviting people in.

    I am a follower.

    Seems I follow alot of things these days...GRIN

    One Question... Where are we going? LOL

    And I signed up for Julie's Newsletter.

    tpinson.co@netzero.net

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  21. please enter me to win Julie's book. I am refinding my faith in God and reading your blog and others stories is so inspiring to me.



    tfromcal@yahoo.com

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  22. Hi Julie and Casey! Wonderful interview girls! You truly are a remarkable woman, Julie Lessman, and I feel so blessed to have the honor of reading books, and being one of your reader friends. God is using you in an incredible way, and words just can't describe what a blessing that is.

    Thank you for entering me to win one of Julie's books!

    Sweet Blessings to all,
    Michelle
    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

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  23. I am a follower.

    Thanks!
    Michelle
    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

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  24. I am a subscriber.

    Thanks!
    Michelle
    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

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  25. I am a subscriber to Julie's newsletter.

    Thank you!
    Michelle
    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

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  26. WHOA, BABY, I come to the party a little late and look out -- we have backlog!! But trust me, I am NOT complaining!! Love seeing all the comments here, so here we go ...

    SANDEE ... thank you, girl, for signing up for my newsletter! The next one should (prayer on my lips!) go out next week, so if you don't get it, let me know through my website, okay?

    WENDY ... another newsletter signup, whoo-hoo!!! Thank you for taking the plunge, sweetie, and I'll try to entertain you enough to make it worth your while, okay?

    DIANA ... I just LOVE the thought of readers of the DOB series moving into the Winds of Change series because that means they know the family pretty well by now, which makes Undaunted all the more fun when you see the growth (and continuing flaws!) of this very passionate family. Good luck in the contest, Diana, and if you don't win here, remember to check my website calendar for even more blog giveaways!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  27. HOLLY!!! Cannot believe you haven't seen it at Sam's or your local bookstores because they SHOULD have it by now. But it's probably good to wait anyway to see if you win it here first, right?? Thanks for your support, my friend.

    MEL!!! Right back at ya, girl!! And I am SO grateful that God connected our paths. I still remember meeting you online and then running into you while passing you in a hall at ACFW a few years ago. It was soooo fun to see your eyes go to my namebadge and mine to yours and both of us squeal at the same time!! Hugs coming your way in Indy, my sweet friend!!

    JULIA ... I'll tell ya what, my jaw dropped open for sure because you never think they are really listening, you know??? They sure don't act like it, you know? :)

    And, Julia, I am really sad to hear your brother went through the same thing AND for the loss of your dad, both for you and your family. Not easy, whether one is close to their parent or not. But praise God that your brother is finally seeking God out all these years later ... sic him, God!! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  28. Grin ... ANN, you are SUCH a hoot!! Put you out of your misery??? I plan to do that, girl, as soon as I receive my author copies from Revell because YOU won a signed copy of AHU on Relz Review. Unless you're going for more than one copy??? :)

    KATIE M ... "coolio"?? I never heard that before but I just may steal it from you, girl! :) Love your e-mail addy of "legacy1992" ... very mysterious, like a hook to a novel ... makes me want to know what happened in 1992 ... :) Good luck in the contest!

    GRANNYVON ... Trust me, my friend, I want you to win as much as you do. In fact, if I had my way, I'd send anybody who takes time out of their busy day to come say "hey" a signed book, but my husband would string me up. And, uh, don't know if you've read my books or not, but if you have, you would know that I am HUGE on "respect" of one's husband. Only way to fly!! Good luck, sweetie.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  29. LULU (LAURI)!!! Good for you, girl, you made it over here -- I am SO glad!!! Thanks for taking the time to do that and I am pulling for you to win a free book, so do hit all the giveaways you can, okay? Blog giveaways are one of the few reasons one can "Cyber-stalk, so have at it!! :)

    GABE!!! Gosh, thanks for dropping by, sweetie, you're the best!! But, uh ... hope you didn't write this comment in one of your classes like my daughter does!! :)

    ARIEL ... and I "soooo want you to be entered too, so THANK YOU for following, subscribing and signing up for my newsletter -- VERY COOL!! Or as Katie M says, "coolio"!! Good luck in the contest, sweetie.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  30. I sooo loved this interview. It kind of pricked at me a bit for pesonal reasons. Thanks, Julie :)

    shawnawilliams@allegiance.tv

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  31. I hope I can teach my son to be so confident with purity and love God so much!!! I may be writing you for advice one day! :)
    Great interview. I learned lots of new things about you.

    Once again, I would love to be entered.
    I'm a follower.
    Subscriber.
    I subscribed to Julie's newsletter.
    bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

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  32. What a great interview! I've signed up as a follower and as a subscriber! I would love to read one of Julie's books.

    edwina(dot)cowgill(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  33. MARTHA ... consider yourself entered, my friend and good luck in the contest!

    TINA!!! Soooo cool to see you here, my friend ... almost feels like the Seeker blog, doesn't it? :) And "where are we going?"???? Uh, don't know, sweetie, but when you find out, will ya let me know? :)

    TERESA ... Your comment really touches my heart because I know what that's like, finding one's way back to the Father's arms! Funny thing is, He's never left us ... even when we stray from seeking Him out. I am saying one for you RIGHT NOW, Teresa, and I am asking anyone who reads your comment to say one for you too, because intercessory prayer is HUGE and as the Body of Christ, we are called to stand in the gap for you. Onward and upward to His high calling, Teresa, and may He inspire you beyond your wildest dreams!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  34. Sweet MICHELLE ... talk about a blessing, girl -- look in the mirror!! You (and so many other encouraging people like you (and you know who you are, Casey & friends!) have blessed me more than I can ever express, so THANK YOU for that! And "remarkable"??? Not sure my husband would agree when he sees me fall apart at the seams at times, but I guess we can call it "remarkable" how Jesus Christ took a hard-nosed, heart-of-stone agnostic like me and gave me a heart of flesh. Now THAT'S remarkable!! :)

    WHOO-HOO .... GUESS WHAT THE UPS MAN JUST DROPPED OFF AT MY DOOR NOT 10 MINUTES AGO??? YOU GUESSED IT ... TWO BOXES OF A HOPE UNDAUNTED, SO YOU WINNERS OUT THERE WHO ARE EXPECTING A BOOK FROM ME, IT SHOULD BE IN THE MAIL TOMORROW!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  35. SHAWNA ... God has a way of doing that, doesn't He, though??? If anybody else did it, it would sting, but somehow when He does, it lets His grace shine through the pinprick hole. :) Thank you for coming by, Shawna, and I have heard wonderful things about your book, No Other, so I can see I'm going to have to add another book to my TBR list!!

    TAMMY ... I have found that the key to raising kids to follow purity is the prayer on the mother's lips, not so much the words coming out of her mouth, although both are very important! I started praying for the right mate and godly friends for both of my kids when they were in the crib. We can NEVER underestimate the power of a mother's prayer ... :)

    EDWINA ... girl, we just have to get you one of these books, by hook or crook!! Of course "cyber-stalking" giveaway blogs is another way, so thanks for stopping by and good luck in the contest. Your win is coming one of these days, I just know it!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  36. Great interview, Julie and Casey. :)

    I know how you feel about the blog time eating into the writing time. I need to be better about the writing time though.

    Joy

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  37. Julie you have been blessed with a great gift...thank you for sharing.
    I a subscriber/follower.

    alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  38. I did sign up for Julie's newsletter, and her faceBook page.

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  39. Hi Julie, I have A Hope Undaunted on my wish list and would absolutely love to win your book. I have read several reviews and they have all been great. Enjoyed your interview. Love Christian books.
    Thanks for stopping by to chat.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  40. Finally, Katie's story is here!!! Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the opportunity :)

    Julie...thank you for sharing yourself w/ us.

    Casey...thanks for bringing Julie to 'your house.'

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahooo dot com

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  41. Finally, Katie's story is here!!! Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the opportunity :)

    Julie...thank you for sharing yourself w/ us.

    Casey...thanks for bringing Julie to 'your house.'

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahooo dot com

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  42. I follow via GFC

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  43. I am an email subscriber

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  44. I signed up for Julie's newsletter.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  45. I really enjoyed this interview. What a transformation Julie went through! Her books really stand out.
    gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

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  46. What if I am already a follower of Julie's newsletter? gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

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  47. WOW - what a wonderful, thought-provoking interview. I can understand why you love having Julie visit you Casey. Julie, you write with such passion for our Lord, it is hard to believe that you were once an agnostic. I've not had the pleasure of reading one of your books yet, but just from this interview, I know I've been missing out on something very special. Thank you for the chance to win one of your treasured books.

    Casey, I am a follower of this blog, Operation Encourage An Author, subscribe to your emails and just signed up for Julie's newsletter.

    Blessings to you both!

    Beverly
    bgrider2@cox.net

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  48. I have heard wonderful, wonderful things about Julie & her work. A Hope Undaunted has been on everyone's MUST read list around the blogs. Their excitement has me excited about reading it too! Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    Smiles
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  49. I am a GFC follower.

    Smiles
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  50. I am an email subscriber.

    Smiles
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  51. Loved this interview! Please enter me.
    I subscribe
    I do receive Julie's newsletter.
    I would choose #2 A Passion Redeemed as I have #1 and #3 and want to complete that great series.
    Then I will purchase other Julie books. Thanks!!!
    jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

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  52. Please enter me!

    I'm a follower and subscriber.

    Doreen
    priviesandprims at yahooo dot com

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  53. What a wonderful interview. It honestly turned my entire day around! I had to write about it in my own blog!

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  54. Hey, JOY, I always love seeing your smiling face, girl! Thanks for coming by! And I totally relate about the writing thing, especially when you have a book release, not to mention a series launch. Uh, writing books? What's that??

    MAUREEN, thank you SO much, my friend, for your kind words and entering the contest. Here's to a win!

    KAREN!!! Good to see you here, girl, and thank YOU guys for taking the time to A.) read my books, B.) come and chat and C.) being so incredibly supportive. For a new author that is HUGE, trust me!!

    MISS KALLIE, thank you!! Yeah, I've been blessed so far because the reviews have been good, although I did see a 1-star on Goodreads. It was obviously someone I signed an ARC copy for at ICRS, so you sure can't please everybody. Besides, I've learned that when someone gives me a 1-star, chances are it's the passion in the book that they object to, and they are certainly entitled to their opinion. I just don't happen to share it. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  55. Wow, I'd love to enter the contest!! I've heard so many great things from friends about Julie's books!! Thanks!!

    +1 follower

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

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  56. Thanks for posting such a great interview. I have just discovered Julie's books and am loving them. And, this is my introduction to your site as well and I will definitely be coming back around!

    Thanks again.
    Cindy

    thesbgirls(at)comcast(dot)net

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  57. ADGE ... boy, amen to that, sister! Talk about one heck of a makeover!! :) Thanks for coming by, girl, and good luck in the contest.

    KAMEKO ... Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by! But there are no ifs, ands or buts ... we HAVE to get one of these books into your hands, my friend, so if you win, I will start you off with book 1, A Passion Most Pure, okay? This is a series that definitely needs to be read in order to get the most out of several big surprises, which is why I offer a choice of my books for those who haven't read them yet. So if you don't win here, I have a ton of other giveaways going on -- just check out my website calendar, okay?

    CINDY!! All right, girl, now THAT'S what I like to hear! :) I don't know if A Hope Undaunted is on everyone's "must list," but it sure is on mine ... I MUST get it into the hands of wonderful readers like you so we can spread the "passion" for both God and romance!! Good luck in the contest!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  58. Love Julie's books! Please enter me. I'm a Follower of your blog.

    susanjreinhardt AT gmail DOT com

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  59. JACKIE!! Oh-oh, you're one of those Charity-haters, aren't you??? Is that why you didn't get Redeemed?? But then you read Denied and saw that she really is a hoot and a great character (one of my favs, actually, but then what do you expect from a woman who LOVES Scarlett O'Hara???), so now you are willing to give her a chance, right? Well, I am THRILLED and will be more than happy to ship our girl Charity (and our "boy" Mitch, sigh) off to you pronto if you win, okay? Thanks for coming by, my friend, and good luck in the contest.

    DOREEN ... okay, now you just gotta love a gal with the addy of Bubblegum Primitives, don't you??? There's a cute scene in Undaunted where Katie confronts a flapper who has gum snapping around on her molars, and it's one of my favorite scenes. Thanks for coming by and good luck in the contest!

    CHRIS!!! I am SOOO thrilled that something I said could "turn your day around"!! That blesses me and turns my day around, girl, because it's all about HIM, becoming aware of just how much He loves us and wants to bless us. And thank you for mentioning it on your blog too. I actually tooled over there to take a look at "The Dino Chronicles," and I have to say it's a very fun blog! Google it, people, to see what I mean. Dino is ADORABLE!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  60. CARRIE!! WHOO-HOO ... high-five those friends for me, will ya? Yes, ma'am, they may be on to something, you know? Won't know till you try it yourself, so stalk those blog giveaways on my website calendar for even more opportunities to win, okay? Thanks for coming by!

    CINDY!!! Great to see you here, my friend, and I am excited that you are enjoying the books. And totally blessed that you plan to come back to Casey's blog because Casey is ONE amazing person, let me tell you. Not only this blog, but she also has a blog call Operation Encourage an Author, which she started purely to bless and encourage authors who write for Christ, so be sure to check it out too. Just Google it because Casey is such an encourager herself, that I know it will encourage her when she sees new faces both here and there.

    SUSAN!!! WOW, it's so much fun to see old friends (not in the age sense, mind you) that I haven't seen since I had a new book out over a year and half ago. How are you doing, my friend?? Will you be at ACFW this year by chance? If so, we gotta touch base, you hear? Thanks for coming by!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  61. I would love to win a copy of Hope Undaunted. It sounds great and I have read great reviews of Julie's books - I just haven't had a chance to read one yet and would love to.

    Thanks!

    Sheri
    hspruitt [at] juno [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  62. I'm a follower of Writing for Christ!

    Thanks!

    hspruitt {at} juno {dot} com

    ReplyDelete
  63. I'm a subscriber of Writing for Christ!

    Thanks!

    hspruitt {at} juno {dot} com

    ReplyDelete
  64. I've become a subscriber to Julie's newsletter!

    Thanks!

    hspruitt {at} juno [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  65. I love Julie's honesty and the way her heart truly shines through her writing. I really enjoy reading and Julie has risen to be one of my favorite authors for her deep truth and believable characters. Keep up the awesome work! I would love to win this book! But if I don't, no worries--I'll buy one so I can keep on working on my collection. :)

    camatchell@gmail.com

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  66. Thank you for the great interview. I learn something new about Julie every time. Thank you for being so honest about how you were before you really knew God in your life. Isn't it amazing how God changes us and is constantly changing us?
    Thank you for having the book drawing. I look forward to reading "A Hope Undaunted."
    cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hey Casey and Julie!
    LOVED the interview, you guys.

    I never get tired of reading what God has done in your life, MRS. LESSMAN!
    Your life story gives me so much hope for those in my family, that I fear will never come to know and love God.

    CASEY~ You lucky girl! I wish I could interview Julie one of these days, but I'm not very good at doing them. So, I've steered clear of author interview, at least for right now. :)

    Love Y'all and good luck to the winner!
    ~Ashley

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  70. Great interview with Julie Lessman! I loved her answer to what message she tries to get across to her readers...and that's so awesome about her son. I want to be that kind of parent when I have kids.

    I can't wait to read A Hope Undaunted! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

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  71. I just became a follwer of your blog! :)

    s(dot)bofferding(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  72. Thanks for posting the interview. I know when your passion is writing, there is so much work that goes into emails, blogs, interviews, signings and other activities. It's a huge sacrifice by you and the family who support your. . but we all benefit from your efforts. Thanks again! krsbishop

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  73. SHERI, Sheri, Sheri ... girl, we just HAVE to get these books in your hands!! And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, this really is a series that's best read in order to get the most out of a number of big surprises in book 1, A Passion Most Pure. So ... if you win, Sheri, I will be happy to send you APMP, okay? Thanks for coming by and good luck!

    Aw, CHRISTINE, thank you SO very much for your sweet comment AND for your support of my books! And hopefully you will win the book here and if not here, be sure to check out my website calendar for other giveaways, okay? Here's to a win!!

    CYNTHIA SAID: "I learn something new about Julie every time." Grin, join the club, girl ... my husband says that every day. He went with me on the writer's workshop that I co-taught last week and one night at dinner, I dropped a "bomb" about something shocking I had done before I was a Christian. Jaw sagging, my husband stared at me and said, "I didn't know that." I always laugh and tell him to stick around, there's always more to learn. The poor guy has been "sticking around" for over 32 years, so if HE doesn't know it all, nobody does, that's for sure!!:)

    ASHLEY GIRL, don't you DARE say you couldn't do an interview, girl, because that AHU launch party you threw for me on Wednesday was SOOO much fun, SOOO well written and SOOO much a blessing, not only to me to all who were blessed enough to see it! Don't make me strong-arm you, girl ... you WILL do an interview with me down the road or else! :)

    SARA ... gosh, thank you, but heck, I wanted to be that type of parent when I had kids too!! But the only way it happens is through prayer and the grace of God. I take NO credit except maybe the fact that I am such a black and white, anal person that I applied God's precepts religiously (no pun intended!), almost on accident and soon discovered that it is actually the KEY to success in the kingdom of God!! Good luck in the contest, sweetie.

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  74. forgot to mention...

    i'm a follower :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  75. forgot to mention...

    i'm an email subscriber, too :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  76. and i signed up for julie's newsletter, too :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  77. I feel like I already know a lot about Julie from previous interviews, but her testimony was new to me. I'm so thankful that God never stops pursuing us!

    It's obvious from all these entries that we eagerly await Julie's new book - and all future ones also. Thank you so much for the chance to win a copy.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

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  78. I am a follower.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

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  79. I also subscribe to your blog, Casey.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

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  80. I also subscribe to Julie's newsletter.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  81. I have only heard great things about this book. Thank you for your honesty and real heart in the interview and what you shared. :O)

    estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

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  82. Please enter me in the drawing. Carman sent me.

    pepsi324[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  83. KRS BISHOP ... Karen, is that you??? Sooo great to see you here, sweetie!! As far as it being a "huge sacrifice" to my family, I guess nobody would know that better than you since Keith probably gives Mike an earful! It's a lot of work for sure, but the benefits (like chatting with people who I connect with through my writing) far outweigh the work, I'd say. Thanks for coming by. See you on Sunday!

    KAREN K , you're back and signing up for everything -- you go, girl!! :)

    CAROLE, you know I realized after your comment that I don't tell people my testimony near enough, which is a shame because God has brought me a long, LONG way, so I should tell people more often. Thank you for reminding me of that and for coming by and signing up for everything under the sun, girl!! Good luck in the contest.

    DIANE ... and thank YOU for your kind words and encouragement. It's very nice to know you've heard good things about this book -- it's my favorite so far and very dear to my heart, so that is a blessing to hear. Good luck!

    COLLETTA KAY ... boy that Carman is ON THE BALL, I'll tell you that! I always see on blog comments where Carman sent people to the interview, which is way cool!! And I am scheduled for an interview/giveaway on Carman's blog on Oct. 8-14, so I hope you will come by then too. Good luck!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  84. i love her books. When i read the first series this summer, i couldnt help but fall in love with the o'Connor family!!

    soccrgrlmonkey@yahoo.com

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  85. This book sounds great. Love the cover. Looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for giving away a copy. Carman sent me.
    plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  86. Wow! Powerful interview! I just got to meet and get acquainted with Julie at the Green Lake Christian Writers' Conference - what a privilege!

    wildamorris.blogspot.com

    wildamorris [at] ameritech [dot] net

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  87. What a great interview. Thanks for the giveaway.

    sonflower277(at)gmail(dot)com

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  88. Thank you so much for the wonderful interview, and giveaway! I would love to win and read this book!

    showcasesisters at gmail dot com

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  89. Wonderful interview! Thanks to both of you for sharing with us.

    I am a follower.
    Thanks and blessings,
    Karen
    klange61(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  90. Please enter me!
    Great interview!
    i am a follower.
    dymesich(at)juno(dot)com

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  91. Waving at Julie, I am loving HOPE UNDAUNTED. Great book Julie, as usual. You truly are a gifted writer.

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  92. I just subscribed to your blog and also to Julie's newsletter. I LOVE Julie's books. We read "A Passion Most Pure" for book club a couple of months ago. I had to finish the series (can't read just one!). I'm looking forward to reading "A Hope Undaunted." I liked all the books but if I had to choose one (if I win), I'd have to choose "A Passion Most Pure."
    Thanks for the interview with Julie and the chance to win a book.
    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  93. Hey guys, I apologize I haven't chimed in today, but I have been in the ER all day with my 92-year-old aunt for whom I primary caretaker. I just got home and leaving again, but I will try to drop in either later tonight or tomorrow.

    If you think about it, could you say a prayer for my Aunt Julie, that she doesn't fall again and stays stable and healthy? Thanks SO much!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  94. I just signed up for your blog. Would love to be entered to win Julies newest novel.

    Thanks,
    Marilyn

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  95. SOCCRGRLMONKEY ... thanks for your sweet comment AND for coming by to enter the contest. Here's to a win!

    PATSY ... three cheers for Carman for sending you over here, girl. Good luck in the contest.

    WILDA!!!!! One of my VERY favorites from Green Lake -- sooo good to see you here!! Gosh, I spend a week with you guys and miss you like crazy!! Thanks for stopping in to say "hi." Hugs, Julie

    SONFLOWER ... VERY cool name, and I'm glad you dropped by to enter. Good luck in the contest.

    SHEILA ... trust me, girl, I would LOVE for you to win this book too! So if you don't win it here, check my website calendar for LOTS of future giveaways between now and October.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  96. KAREN ... you can't go wrong being a follower on Casey's blog, that's for sure, so thank you for coming by and throwing your hat in the ring. May the Force be with you ... :)

    LEAH ... another follower -- YEAH!! Sure wish every single one of you could win ... but my husband would disown me, I'm afraid, and I'm WAY too fond of him ... :)

    SANDRA!! I always get this big ol' smile on my face when I see a Seeker name pop up -- thanks for coming by, sweetie. And I am THRILLED you are enjoying AHU!!!

    PAM ... "can't read just one!" Oh, girl, I LIKE that A LOT!!! Sooo glad the O'Connors are as addictive as Lay's potato chips ... :) Thanks for your kind words AND for signing up for my newsletter. Look for it in the next few weeks with another contest where you can have a character named after you in my next book, A Heart Revealed!! :)

    MARILYN ... Appreciate you swinging by to enter Casey's contest, and we'll have to see what we can do about a win ... :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  97. Hello Ms. Casey,

    I have just subscribed to Mrs. Lessman's newsletter and I already subscribed to your e-mail updates, so I would like to have three entries into this contest. =)

    Wow, awesome interview. You have an amazing testimony Mrs. Lessman! As a teen/student . . . I totally agree with you about the "love vs. lust" thing . . . I started working at our local library, and I'll read the summaries of those "romance novels" aimed at girls my age (in the teen fic section) or older (adult fic) . . . I haven't read them, but it does seem more like "lust" instead of love, but I still feel the temptation . . . something attracting me to them. That's why it was so encouraging for me to read this interview. It's good to know that there are authors out there that will write books I'll feel comfortable reading.

    Thank you!

    --Lady DragonKeeper (I hope this is alright . . . I don't like to post my real name online).

    jafuchi7 [at] hawaii [dot] edu

    P.S. - I see Mrs. Lessman has commented on this post . . . may I ask which of your books would you suggest to someone new to your work? (Which book would you suggest to the person who wins this drawing?) =)

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  98. LADY DRAGONKEEPER ... Thanks SO much for stopping by! And OF COURSE you're attracted to books like that because we are passionate human beings who are attracted to passion. Did you ever think about why? It's really very simple. We were created by a PASSIONATE God!! Do a study on Song of Solomon sometime ... it's allegory about the passion God has for Israel and for each of us!! Unfortunately, the world uses one of God's most beautiful gifts to us -- romance and all it entails -- to turn people away from God's precepts, which ticks me off to no end. Yes, I have plenty of passion and temptation in my books, but I use it to draw people TO God's precepts, not away from them. I hope you agree when/if you read them.

    And, uh, grin ... which of my books do I recommend you read first??? :) I'm smiling because I usually sound like a broken record in these comment sections when I try to drive it home that these are books that are best read in order due to a number of big surprises that would be ruined if read out of order. That said, I would strongly recommend a new reader begin with book 1 of "The Daughters of Boston" series, A Passion Most Pure," which, by the way, won the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Debut Book of the Year. It will introduce the reader to the family, who are an intregal part of these two series. Thanks for asking, LD, and good luck in the contest.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  99. I really enjoyed this interview. There aren't many authors that I care to learn more about, other than what books they've written. Julie Lessman is definitely one of my favorite authors.

    I hope I win this book!
    Paige
    misscurlyq@roadrunner.com

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  100. I have read the other books in the series and can't wait for this one!
    gijanechosen(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  101. I love Julie's books and this blog! Julie, thanks for sharing so openly about how God transformed your life.

    And Casey, I appreciate your sweet testimony on the About Me page of your blog. I never birthed children but have been privileged to mentor young women during my twenty plus years in Christian education. You remind me of some of my sweetest students, who are now married and raising children. God's blessings for your future!

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  102. PAIGE SAID: "There aren't many authors that I care to learn more about, other than what books they've written."

    Grin ... thanks, Paige, but I can't help but wonder if that may have something to do with the fact that I'm a little bit more "out there" and crazy than most nice, normal Christian authors. :) A "real piece of work," you know? Seriously, I truly appreciate your really kind comment and I wish you the best of luck in the contest, girl!

    JANE ... good girl!! I always love it when a reader is caught up on the O'Connors via my other books because it sooo helps to make each book all the more special. So, THANK YOU!! And, of course, you already KNOW that AHU is special to me because it's my favorite of all the books I've written and because of ... sigh ... Cluny McGee! :) Good luck!

    RENEE ANN ... Thank you SO much for coming by and for your sweet comment. Gosh, I can't be anything but open because I want people to see just how MUCH God transformed me from the dark into His glorious light! And I TOTALLY agree with your comments on Casey -- she is a pretty special young woman and I personally feel very blessed to know her.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  103. I was perusing my bookstore one day looking for my next read and happened across A Passion Most Pure. The back sounded really good so I had to buy it. I'm so glad I did too! It became one of my favorite books that I go back to when I have a hard time getting into something else. I fell in love with the O'Connor family and would LLLLOOOVVEEEEE to win the new book. I'm a follower, a subscriber and I'm signed up for Julie's newsletter.
    God bless,
    Elizabeth!

    ecriggs1990(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  104. ELIZABETH ... Thank you SOOO much for loving the O'Connors as much as I do. They sure feel like family, don't they, though?? And thanks for signing up for my newsletter. It's coming out this week and has lots of fun stuff in it including a new contest to win having a character named after you in my next book! Good luck in this contest, my friend.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  105. Hi Julie,

    I haven't had the chance to read your books yet, but every time I go to my favorite blogs you are there! : ) Must be a sign, right? : ) So I would love to win this one potosrose(at)gmail(dot)com
    But I'm going to read them either way : )
    I am now a subscriber, follower and Julie follower : )

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  106. I'd love to enter!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  107. RENEE, YES!!! It's definitely a sign, I would say!! :) And I would dearly love for you to win a book too, trust me! Thank you for becoming a "follower," both of Casey's blog and me! And if you don't win here, I have tons of other giveaways going on now and in the future, so be sure to check my website calendar for the links. Thank you for coming by and good luck!!

    AIK ... consider yourself entered, girl, and good luck in the contest!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  108. Wow! What an opportunity. I love Julie's books, and I can't wait to get my hands on the newest one. :)
    And I finally signed up for the newsletter.

    cute_kitty2828(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  109. We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings: http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2010/09/hope-undaunted.html

    And this book is sitting on my TBR stack right now - looking forward to diving in!

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  110. JOCELYN ... good girl, signing up for the newsletter!! :) I only send out three or four a year, and the next one is going out tomorrow, but there is always a contest in it and fun tidbits about the books, news, updates, etc. Thanks so much for coming by, sweetie, and good luck in the contest!

    MOZI ... whoo-hoo, girl, THANK YOU for posting this -- MUCH appreciated!!

    And, oh-oh, I always say a quick prayer when I know somebody is getting ready to crack AHU open, but the reviews have been such a blessing so far, so hopefully you will agree.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  111. I am a follower
    bkhabel AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  112. I signed up for the newsletter

    bkhabel AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  113. I can't wait to read this - thanks for the giveaway!!
    winnieayala at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  114. I follow on GFC
    winnieayala at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  115. I signed up for Julie's newsletter!
    winnieayala at yahoo dot com

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  116. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE enter me in the giveaway! I would be so blessed to receive an autographed copy until I can meet you, Julie, at a book signing in person. That would be a real privilege!
    Also, please consider writing during the Civil War period as I suggested some time back. I would love to read Christian fiction during this time period, and you would be my author of choice to write it!!!!!!!!!!
    LOVE YOUR BOOKS SO MUCH!
    Charlotte
    charsaltz(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  117. Thank you for doing the giveaway of Julie's newest book!

    I read her first three books and am so excited that she is continuing the O'Connor's story line.

    My daughter and Mom also read her books this summer and loved them too!!!

    dedelm@gmail.com

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  118. Please enter me.

    Wendy
    ebeandebe at gmail dot com

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  119. Please include me.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  120. INSPIRED KATHY ... whoo-hoo, thanks for following and signing up for my newsletter, girl!! Good luck in the contest!

    AMANDA ... and I can't "wait" for you to read it either, trust me!! Thanks for signing up for the newsletter and here's to a win!

    CHARLOTTE!!! Oh my, is there a chance we'll get to meet at a book signing??? I would LOVE to meet you, but the only signings I am having are three in the St. Louis and Swansea areas in October, then one next week in Indianapolis at the ACFW Conference (Hyatt hotel). If you think you can make one of those, PLEASE let me know through my website, okay??

    And as far as the Civil War era, honey, you gotta know how much I LOVE that time period because it's the era of my all-time favorite novel, Gone With the Wind!! So we'll see what happens down the road, okay? Thanks for your very kind words and good luck in the contest.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  121. DEDELM ... thank you SO much for not only reading the DOB series, but for passing them on to your mom and daughter too -- how cool is that!! Three generations reading my books -- I LOVE it!! Thanks for coming by and good luck in the contest. :)


    WENDY ... consider yourself entered, sweetie, and good luck in the contest!


    LINDA ... you're included, girl, not let's see what we can do about a win!! Good luck!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  122. This sounds like a wonderful book. Would love to read it.
    wmmahaney(at)att(dot)net

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  123. Julie, I know that responding to numerous posts takes a lot of your time, but you have made a ministry out of your writing, probably more than any other writer I know. And I believe God honors that commitment every day, because your books are reaching many, many people.

    You reveal so much of yourself in interviews and I appreciate that. I'm a Georgia "Gone with the Wind" girl and can relate to its impact on you. I greatly appreciate the chance to win A Hope Undaunted.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  124. Extra entries:

    Follower - yes
    Subscriber - yes
    Julie's newsletter - yes

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  125. WMMAHANEY ... Thank you! Of course I think that, but then I wrote it and may be a wee bit prejudiced! :) You'll just have to read it yourself to find out, so here's to a win in this contest. Thanks for stopping by.

    CAROLE ... thank you so very much for your incredibly kind words, my friend. I do see it as a ministry of sorts because God has given me a real affection for my reader friends, so I figure He wants me to do more with it than just sit at a computer writing books, right? And a "Gone With the Wind" girl??? Say no more, Carole -- I always knew I really liked you a lot, but this puts it over the top!! I hope to be in Atlanta next summer, so I would love to meet you if you are from that part of Georgia. Have a blessed weekend and good luck in the contest.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  126. Okay. So it's true. I wanna win. I wanna win. I wanna win.
    Hey! You have a cute blog. I love it by the way.

    Shirley Kiger Connolly
    sh1rlee@frontier.com

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  127. SHIRLEY!!! SOOOO good to see you here, my friend, and I hope I get to see you next week in Indy too!! Thanks for dropping by.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  128. I loved this interview, Julie Lessman, and now, my new blogger friend Casey! I've signed up as a
    Casey follower,
    Casey subscriber, and
    Julie's newsletter groupie, too!

    I absolutely have loved each and every O'Connor girl, each and everyone of their hot, hot, hot Irishmen and am completely sure I've already fallen for Sean and Emma, too.

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  129. I'm new to your blog Casey and really enjoy it....so I'm a follower, a subscriber, and also have signed up for Julie Lessman's newsletter.

    I have loved each and every one of the O'Connor girls, each and every one of their hot, hot, hot Irishmen, but mostly their walks with God. I'm equally sure that I already am in love with Sean and Emma.

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  130. I'm new to your blog Casey and really enjoy it....so I'm a follower, a subscriber, and also have signed up for Julie Lessman's newsletter.

    I have loved each and every one of the O'Connor girls, each and every one of their hot, hot, hot Irishmen, but mostly their walks with God. I'm equally sure that I already am in love with Sean and Emma.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Whoops.....did I do that?
    Really!?
    s o r r y

    ReplyDelete
  132. DEANA ... grin, yes, you did, girl, but that's okay, I assure you -- I LOVE your enthusiasm!!! :) Thanks for signing up for my newsletter and subscribing/following Casey -- you won't be sorry because she has a GREAT blog!

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for stopping by, I love to hear from those who traffic my blog! Have a wonderful day. :)

FTC Rules

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

 
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