Hello Julie! Seems the year isn't complete without celebrating your latest release on my blog. I know I’m not the only one sorry to see the O’Connors go…so what’s the next chapter for this loveable, dramatic family?
Well, Case, I’m glad you asked! :) As a matter of fact, my agent and I are collaborating on e-publishing a Christmas e-book called A Light in the Window: An Irish Christmas Love Story, which is actually the prequel love story of Marcy and Patrick O’Connor, the mother and father in my two series. Because Marcy and Patrick have such a deep and passionate marriage, which, I’m happy to say, is actually based on my husband’s and mine, I had always longed to write their story. That longing ramped up into hyper-need once I finished the final book in this family saga, A Love Surrendered, which just released October 1st. I found I couldn’t let the family go just yet, so I end ALS with a line that eludes to “a new beginning.” Pretty sneaky, huh?
Wow! A prequel, do you have a release date yet and how it will be available?
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YES, it releases November 9 of this year on e-book only and can currently be pre-ordered on Amazon but will also be available on Barnes & Noble, CBD.com and Smashwords on November 9. I've gotten some frantic e-mails from readers who do not have an e-reader, so I am directing them to Amazon’s free app link http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=dig_arl_box?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771, where you can download a free Kindle app that will allow you to buy and read e-books on your PC, Mac, i-Phone, i-Pad, Droids and more. Also, I am running two contests on the “Contest” tab of my website at http://www.julielessman.com/contest/, the first of which awards a Kindle Fire to the top winner and a signed manuscript copy of A Light in the Window to the runner-up OR in the second contest, have a character named after them in my next book, a signed copy of that book and a $50 gift card.
Okay, back to the O’Connors. You've spent 6, almost 7 books with this family. Are you looking forward to moving on with new characters and uncharted adventures?
Well, now that I've gotten the “prequel” bug out of my system, yes, much more so! I have to admit, I really LOVE the new series because it’s been fun to mix it up a bit with my style. For instance book 1, Love at Any Cost is WAY shorter than my previous books (by about a 100 pages), less sensual (ahem … there are NO married couples with bedroom scenes!), less complicated (only one subplot, i.e. for the widowed matriarch and the brother-in-law she was engaged to before he cheated on her and she married his brother) and the spirituality is more understated. As a CDQ (caffeinated drama queen), I am known for my angst and drama, so although the new series will have some of that, it’s toned down with a lot more humor, a light touch and a spunky Texas cowgirl, who reminds me a little bit of a Mary Connealy heroine.
Fooled by a pretty boy once, shame on him.
Fooled by a pretty boy twice, shame on me.
Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who just as soon hogtie a man as look at him … until Jamie MacKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well lassoes her heart. But when Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than him, Cassie finds herself bucked by love a second time, sending her back to Texas to lick her wounds and heal her heart. In her absence, Jamie discovers money can’t buy love, but love built on faith can set a heart free, a truth he discovers a little too late … or is it?
Was it hard to keep the O’Connors constantly coming back fresh and strong and growing in life and faith without seeming redundant?
Surprisingly, no! Although many of the spiritual themes and some plot points are the same in a number of the books, the characters themselves are ALL so different from each other, that it’s like a different fingerprint for each scenario despite the similarities.
What are you going to miss the most about this series? The predictability? The knowledge of who you wrote about? The characters themselves?
Oh, without question, the characters themselves! Keep in mind that I’ve lived with the O’Connors since I was twelve years old when I penned the first 150 pages of what would eventually become A Passion Most Pure. I’ve grown with them as they have grown and I’ve laughed and cried with them too, so that family is more than just fiction to me—it’s a piece of my heart and soul that I poured out on paper. A love letter to God, thanking Him for all the wonderful things He has done for me and the lessons I’ve learned at His feet. The O’Connors are a part of me, now and forever, and I will miss them dearly.
I don’t think I’ll be the only one not shedding a tear when I turn that last page! So give us some encouragement…what’s next on the writing horizon from your computer?
Trust me, the O’Connors may be gone for a while in my writing, but I promise they will be back! I have every intention of continuing the saga someday with those precocious cousins and, of course, Gabe, the O’Connor’s tomboy foster child. I hope to begin with a trilogy for Faith’s girls, then a trilogy for Charity’s twins Henry and Hope and Gabe and on down the line, each series taking place during the WWII period. Of course, each trilogy will include a 2nd-tier love story for the parents because I simply cannot let Faith and Collin, Charity and Mitch and the rest of the former hero/heroine couples go!
GREAT to have you here, Julie! Keep on, keeping on! You've got tons of readers who love you. :-)
Thanks, Case, for allowing me to connect with your readers, and I’m looking forward to giving one of them a signed copy of any of my books, including A Love Surrendered or an e-book of A Light in the Window: An Irish Christmas Love Story. Just leave a comment telling me WHICH is your favorite O’Connor book and why. And if you haven’t read any, that’s okay too—just let me know, and if you win, I will make sure you get the first book in the series. GOOD LUCK!!
Of course, I LOVE to hear from reader friends, so they can feel free to contact me through my website at http://www.julielessman.com, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter at http://www.julielessman.com/sign-up-for-newsletter/. My newsletter is chock-full of fun info on my books and there’s always a contest featuring signed book giveaways including one right now to have a character named after you or a loved one in my next book. Also, I have a cool feature on my website called “Journal Jots” at http://www.julielessman.com/journal-jots1/, which is a very laid-back, Friday journal to my reader friends that would give your readers an idea as to my relaxed style of writing. Or they check out my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books on the “Excerpts” tab of my website at http://www.julielessman.com/excerpts/. Finally, I can be found daily at The Seekers blog at http://seekerville.blogspot.com/, a group blog devoted to encouraging and helping aspiring writers on the road to publication.
Okay readers! Here is your chance to win either A Love Surrendered or A Light in the Window: An Irish Christmas Love Story ebook from Julie!
For extra entries:
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Please rate my review. You can only rate the review once, so if you've already happened to do so, just let me know and you'll still get the extra entry. Thanks!!
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 October 12th.
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com