Tuesday, December 1, 2015

25 Days of Christmas Stories: Interview with Julie Lessman, inspirational romance author

Let's welcome Julie Lessman to the blog today! She's kicking off our "25 Days of Christmas Stories" blog series and you are in for a treat! 

Julie is an inspirational romance author whose stories have on many awards. She's a big deal in the Christian book market and she's here today to talk about three of her holiday stories, two of which are included in a box set.

Not only is Julie sharing all these fun details about her work, she's agreed to give away three of her books, two of which are each in a boxed set which means the winner of the box set will get a total of FOUR books (three by other authors, one by Julie)!

She's very generous, eh?

But that's not all, Julie said that each of the 3 winners may choose which prize they want to claim. Here are photos of what Julie has to offer each winner:

Hope for the Holidays Historical Collection

Home for Christmas Historical Collection


A Light in the Window


Simply wonderful, isn't it? Now all you need to do to enter this book giveaway contest is to fill out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Let's begin the interview with Julie! 

*Words from Alexis are in bold, words from Julie are not in bold

~*~
Alexis: It’s delightful that you’ve written not one, not two, but three lovely Christmas stories, Julie! Thank you for agreeing to share details on each of your novellas today!

Let’s begin the interview starting with the our main feature today, your novella, “The Best Gift of All.”  

Why did you write this story? What is it about? How do you want it to impact your readers?

Julie: This sounds silly, I know, but I wrote this story because I miss the O’Connors terribly, the close-knit Irish family from my first two series, the Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change. I SO fell in love with this passionate family that it’s just fun to revisit them each year via Christmas novellas about the various couples.

This year’s novella, “The Best Gift of All,” focuses on the third O’Connor daughter, Lizzie, and her husband John Brady, dealing with a very sensitive issue that actually almost destroyed a marriage of a good friend of mine. Which is exactly why I wrote it—to impact readers who may be making the same mistake in their marriage as Lizzie does in hers. Here’s a brief blurb: 

Everyone knows John and Lizzie Brady have the perfect marriage. But when Lizzie’s desire to be a good mother eclipses her desire for her husband, the honeymoon is definitely over. Can the spirit of Christmas heal their hearts when Lizzie gives John the best gift of all?

In “The Best Gift of All,” you portray John and Lizzie Brady as the perfect married couple. What did they do to earn that merit? In what ways do you hope their story will impact your readers, especially when we find out that not all is well this Christmas with The Brady Family? 

The other O’Connor siblings have always teased John and Lizzie about having the perfect marriage because they never fight, never seem to have problems, and Lizzie has all but worshipped John since she was thirteen. Known as the quiet and shy romantic of the family, Lizzie is the perfect buffer to her three older sisters, all of whom have strong-willed personalities. From Faith with her redheaded temper and Charity with her playful plotting, to Katie with her strong suffragist views, all three have experienced their fair share of marital bumps in the road. Unlike Lizzie and John … uh … that is, until now.

When Lizzie’s “doting worship” suddenly switches from her husband to her children, it fosters bitterness in both John and Lizzie, creating a strained and sometimes volatile relationship instead of the “perfect marriage” they enjoyed before. As I mention in the reader notes at the back of the novella, “The Best Gift of All” is actually based on the real-life situation of a couple I know who not only experienced damage in their marriage from this problem, but damage to the father’s relationship with his children as well. I knew then that this was an important issue to address, so I pray this story is a blessing to those who need it.

What life lessons will The Brady Family learn and how does their faith in God play a role in healing their hearts?

A VERY important lesson for couples today, as expressed in the excerpt below when Lizzie confides to her sister about her bitterness towards John...Because of Lizzie’s deep faith in God, her sister is able to pierce her heart with the truth—a truth that eventually gives both Lizzie and John, “the best gift of all.”

Okay, I have to ask: What exactly is “the best gift of all” in The Brady Family story? What can you tell us without giving away the story? 

Come on, Alexis, you know I can’t tell you that, but let’s just say it’s a gift that can’t be wrapped in ribbons and bows!


Now let’s talk about your other Christmas novella, “A Whisper of Hope.”  

What foreshadowing does the story title “A Whisper of Hope” have in light of the characters and their journey?

“A Whisper of Hope” is about the lovable busybody in the O’Connor family, Charity O’Connor Dennehy, and trust me—as a women who spends her life “plotting” to get what she wants, the word “whisper” is most appropriate! And what Charity wants is another baby, but her much older husband Mitch is not so inclined, so Charity takes it upon herself to change his mind. And if you knew Mitch Denney, you’d know he is the most stubborn of all the O’Connor spouses, butting heads with Charity from the moment she first seduced him in book 1 of this family saga, A Passion Most Pure. So you might say that Charity doesn’t have a “whisper” of a prayer in changing Mitch’s mind. But then … all it takes is a “whisper of hope,” right?

What can you tell us in a few words about your leading lady Charity O’Connor Dennehy and her husband’s relationship?


Charity is passionate, headstrong, and manipulative. Mitch is passionate, stubborn, and part mule, and nothing in marriage comes easily to these two. But … they’re saved by their faith … and a love that is deep and true and very passionate. 


Finally, let’s spend some time talking about one more of your Christmas novels, A Light in the Window: An Irish Christmas Love Story

A Light in the Window is a beautiful title for a Christmas story! What picture do you hope this title paints in the mind of your readers?

Thank you, Alexis! This title is actually based on three things: 
1) Putting a “light in the window” is an old Irish Christmas tradition. 
2) It’s the name of the fundraiser play for the parish homeless shelter in the book. 
3) It’s symbolic of the heroine’s faith in that only one of the two heroes truly responds to the “light in the window,” which is the love of Christ in her heart.

I love your tagline for your novel about the two men in your leading lady Marceline Murphy’s life—“one stirs her pulse, the other her faith.” Love it! What can you tell us about these two remarkable men? Is there a lesson for the ladies here within? Please explain.

Oh, yes, a BIG lesson that I hope all young women will heed! Patrick O’Connor and Sam O’Rourke are the two Southie rogues who break hearts left and right, turning the head of every woman they meet. Uh … except one! Here’s the video my artist hubby did for A Light in The Window, which gives you a better idea about the story. It also stars my daughter as Marcy in the video and on the book cover.

Tell us a bit about Patrick O’Conner and Sam O’Rourke. What makes their world go round? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

Patrick and Sam are two best friends who are like brothers and very used to getting their way with women. Sam is from a good Catholic family with a strong faith base, but Patrick is not, with a home life that is very dysfunctional. Their biggest weaknesses, other than their penchant for women, is their lack of faith.

What is it about Marceline that makes these two men fight to win her heart?

First of all, Marcy is the first woman who doesn’t give them the time of day at first, so she’s a challenge. She’s had several bad experiences with good-looking “rogues,” and wants nothing to do with them, which naturally piques both Patrick’s and Sam’s interest. But it’s her purity of heart and deep faith that draws them both, although they aren’t fully aware of that and really want nothing to do with faith.


Let’s close with a few questions for you as the author. 

Why do you love to write fiction? 

I love to write fiction because for me, it’s the easiest ways to teach the many, many lessons I have learned—all the hard way, I might add—as a mother, wife, and Christian.

How does your faith in God play into your storytelling?

Well, let’s put it this way—without God, there would be no books, period. God is not only my reason to write, He is my inspiration, my motivation, my confidence and my talent. Like Michael W. Smith sings in his incredible song, “Breathe,” God is “the air I breathe.” I love romance, make no mistake, but without God in the middle, it is flat, empty, pointless. So I guess you could say that although I write books heavily laced with romantic passion, they are also intensely spiritually passionate as well, with God always firmly anchored in the middle. 

What’s one thing this Christmas season you want to do that know one else knows?

Go see lots of movies with the love of my life because we seldom venture out to the movies, although we do love them. I am totally blessed to be married to a man who actually enjoys watching Hallmark movies with me, so it doesn’t get any better than that over the holidays.

Thanks for the interview, Julie! Merry Christmas and God bless you! And Merry Christmas to you and yours as well, Alexis, and thank you for hosting me on your blog—it’s been fun! I will say that I love to hear from reader friends, so if they like, they can contact me and read excerpts from my books at www.julielessman.com, or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest or by signing up for my newsletter.

I also have a blog called “Journal Jots,” which is a very laid-back journal to my reader friends, or readers can check out my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books on the “Excerpts” tab of my website. In addition, I can be found daily at The Seekers, a group blog of 13 published authors that inspires, encourages, teaches, and informs aspiring writers on the road to publication and beyond. Although Seekerville has been listed on Writers Digest 2013 and 2014 “Best 101 Websites for Writers,” it is also a blog devoted to readers as well.

~*~
Author bio: 
Julie was named American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered 17 Romance Writers of America and other awards. 

Voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also named on Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction list. Her latest novel, Surprised by Love, appeared on Family Fiction magazine’s list of Top Ten Novels of 2014, and her independent novel A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner. 

Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets.

You can contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at www.julielessman.com.

66 comments:

  1. I have only read one of Julie's books "Isle of Hope", but she is definitely going on my favourite authors list!! Would LOVE to have another of her books!!

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  2. LIENTJIE!!! Hey, girl, SO great to see you here, my friend, and YAY, thrilled that you liked Isle of Hope. Be sure to let me know if you post a review for it so I can enter you in my newsletter contest to have a character named after you in my next book, okay? PLUS reviews earn extra points in my IOH contest as well, so I hope you take advantage. BUT ... if reviews are not your thing, NO WORRIES! I just appreciate your interest in my books in the first place. :)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK in this giveaway!
    Julie

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  3. Amazing interview! I learn something new in every interview about your books and your thoughts on writing them. I miss the O'Connors too! Thank you. Wonderful.

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    1. Aw, ANNIE, you are ALWAYS such a blessing to me, my sweet friend. I would love to meet you someday and give you a hug (along with Alexis!!). Where do you both live, if I may be so bold to ask?

      Hugs and more hugs!
      Julie

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    2. Hi Julie. I live in MD. Let's hope for a get together with others somewhere between all of us! Or if you'really ever in this area, I would love your hug!

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  4. Hello Julie, What better time then Now to have Hope for the Holidays, Our world is in a muddle and so many need Hope. Thanks for sharing today,it is always good to see you out and about...Merry Christmas to you and yours.
    Paula O

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    1. Hey, PAULA, soooooo good to see you here, my friend, and YES, we all DO need "hope" for the holidays, and if it comes in a book? Well, I'm all for that ... ;)

      I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and holy holiday season as well.

      Hugs!!
      Julie

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  5. Still waiting for my copy of Isle of Hope to come in the mail. And also waiting to see if I win this!! Going to do reviews.

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    1. STELLA!! Did you win it or buy it, your copy of Isle of Hope? If you bought it, BLESS YOU, my friend, and if you would like a signed bookplate, I would be happy to do that. Just send me your address in a private FB message or through my website, okay? I hope you enjoy it, and if you do and post a review, DO let me know so I can enter you in my contest, okay?

      Hugs and happy reading ... and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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  6. I've read A Light in the Window, but would love to read more about the O'Connor sisters in the novellas!

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    1. Oh, PATTY, thank you for reading ALITW -- MUCH appreciated! And like I told Stella above, if you posted a review, DO let me know so I can enter you in my contest, okay?

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      JULIE

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  7. I forgot to answer the question. I love Julie's Christmas stories, well all of hers! I've only had the pleasure of reading Best Gift of All out of all her Christmas stories, and would love to read the rest, especially if it's on one of my favorite literary family!

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    1. ANNIE!!! Thanks SO much for reading Home for Christmas, my friend, and since you love the O'Connors, you are gonna love Charity & Mitch's novella in Hope for the Holidays Historical Collection, A Whisper of Hope. Charity is one of my favorite characters to write about, so I had a lot of fun with that one. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  8. Thank you both for the great interview! What a nice way to start the 25 stories of Christmas .The O'Connor stories are wonderful to begin with,mixed with Christmas they're especially magical! I wanted to mention,too while I think all these stories are good,I thought "A Light in the Window is a very beautiful Christmas story. It's not only a charming Irish Christmas love story,but a very wise choice in starting the O'Connor series of love stories. For me though,I think the most fun I had in reading this interview was finding out that Julie loves the O'Connors as much as we readers do ! Keep up the good work ,Julie and a Merry Christmas season to everyone!

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    1. Whoops, LYNNE, see my response in the comment below. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  9. LYNNE!!! Thanks SO much for coming by -- you always make me smile, my friend. :)

    YES, I've lived with the O'Connors since I was 12 years old (when I first started writing A Passion Most Pure), so trust me, they are like family. In face -- and this is going to sound weird, I know -- but I reread the entire series approximately once a year. I started this when the next book would come out, so I wanted to refresh before it did, and I've continued the tradition. But ONLY with the O'Connors! As much as I love McClares (and I do!) and the O'Bryens from Isle of Hope, it's the O'Connors who will always own my heart. :)

    Thanks again, Lynne, for ALL of your support -- you are a true blessing!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  10. Wonderful interview with Julie - Alexis, thank you!! I always enjoy reading Julie's responses. Although I've read and own each of her published books (including her writing manual and a devotional in which she has an entry), I always yearn for more of her beautiful writing - it touches the depths of my heart and soul, inspires, and brings me joy. I continue to marvel at the masterful writing genius God has instilled in her - I'm awed by her love and praise for Him, and love that He is always the central character in everything she writes. Reading her work for the first time is like eating popcorn, the reader always yearns for more!!

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    1. LOL, Bonnie ... I LOVE popcorn, so THANK YOU for that sweet (and salty) analogy! ;)

      I do believe you may be my #1 supporter in the world, my friend, for which I am FOREVER grateful!!

      Hugs and more hugs!
      Julie

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  11. I fell in love with the O'Connor family! I've read everything, but the novellas. I'm thrilled to see more stories from the Boston-based family. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you, MISS PIPPI, for reading all my books, so it looks like NOW we have to get those novellas in your hot, little hands, so here's hoping I can send you a winner's copy!!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK, Miss P.!
      Julie

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  12. I read another of her books and really enjoyed it. I would love to win because I would spend all my money if I bought every book I wanted to read.

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    1. LOL, EDWARD, yes, I'm sure you would, my friend, as would I! :)

      I would LOVE to send you a copy, Edward, because I always get a kick out of my male reader friends (and yes, I do have one or two!), so here's to a win!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  13. Great interview! I love Christmas stories. Adding these to my collection would be awesome :)

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    1. Thanks, LORI, and trust me, my friend, you would LOVE these stories, because along with me, four award-winning authors have novellas in these collections as well, so you cannot go wrong!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  14. I want to win because I love your stories, and I'm sure I will love the other authors as well!
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. Aw, BETTI, THANK YOU!! And, YES, I guarantee you will love the other authors (award winners, ALL!) as well, so here's to a win, my friend.

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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  15. I want to win because I've read all of Julie's novels and want to read the novellas (can't get enough of the O'Connor family). I have read A Light in the Window, but not the other novellas.
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Oh, PAMMY, we definitely need to get you an O'Connor fix, which is JUST what these novellas are, my friend, so fingers crossed I can send you a winner's copy!

      Hugs and more hugs,
      Julie

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  16. I love what you said about God being your inspiration, motivation ect. It nice to hear that.
    Love your books 😀

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    1. Thanks, PAM, and it's absolutely true! As one of my characters says in my latest contemporary novel, Isle of Hope:

      "God alone is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the beat of my pulse. He is the strength in my bones. He is my beginning and my end, and there is no hope in anything—anything--except Him.”

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK, Pam!
      Julie

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  17. I really love Christmas stories. I haven't read any of Julie's books yet, but they sound really good. Thanks for the giveaway. :) debradawn777@gmail.com

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    1. DEBRA!!! My favorite type of reader -- fresh blood!! ;)

      Mmm ... if you haven't read any of my books yet, then I invite you to check out my style on the EXCERPTS page of my website where I have posted my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books. OR you can check out my latest novel, Isle of Hope, on the Isle of Hope page of my website, which not only has the first chapter of the book, but excerpts, quotes, celebrity pix AND a contest to have a character named after you in my next book!!

      OR ... my Christmas novel, A Light in the Window, is on sale right now for only 99 cents, so here's the video my artist hubby did using my daughter as the model for both the cover and the video:

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Anyway, here are the other links I invite you to check to see if you like my "passion with a purpose" style of writing:

      JULIE'S FAVORITE ROMANTIC & SPIRITUAL EXCERPTS

      ISLE OF HOPE PAGE

      HUGS and GOOD LUCK, DEB!
      Julie

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  18. Ooh, I want to win one of these because I think these are the only 3 of her stories I haven't read! I'm currently reading Grace like Rain.

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    1. COURTNEY!!! Hey, girl, thank you SO much for reading Grace Like Rain -- I really love that little novella about Blake "The Rake" McClare from The Heart of San Francisco series, so I hope you do too!

      And I would love nothing better than to send you a winning copy of one of the Christmas novellas, because you just HAVE to see Charity plotting against Mitch ONE MORE TIME, and Lizzie and Brady's domestic problems that highlight a serious problem in some marriages, so GOOD LUCK, my friend!

      Hugs and more hugs!
      Julie

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  19. Thank you both for a great interview. I was happy to hear Julie, that you still love the O'Connors as much as your readers do! Thank you too,for continuing their saga with these beautiful holiday stories .I love them,they're a heartwarming way to celebrate Christmas!

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    1. LYNNE!!! Thanks, my friend -- I SO appreciate your sweet comment AND your support. :)

      Hugs and more hugs!
      Julie

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  20. I really liked this interview. I haven't read one of Julie ' s books before so that is why I would like to win. After reading your interview I want to read and experience these vibrant characters for myself.

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    1. Hey, KATH, thank you! And I would LOVE for you to meet my characters for yourself, so here's hoping for a win!

      But in the meantime, like I told Debra Smith above, since you haven't read any of my books yet, then I invite you to check out my style on the EXCERPTS page of my website where I have posted my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books. OR you can check out my latest novel, Isle of Hope, on the Isle of Hope page of my website, which not only has the first chapter of the book, but excerpts, quotes, celebrity pix AND a contest to have a character named after you in my next book!!

      OR ... my Christmas novel, A Light in the Window, is on sale right now for only 99 cents, so here's the video my artist hubby did using my daughter as the model for both the cover and the video:

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Anyway, here are the other links I invite you to check to see if you like my "passion with a purpose" style of writing:

      JULIE'S FAVORITE ROMANTIC & SPIRITUAL EXCERPTS


      ISLE OF HOPE PAGE

      HUGS and GOOD LUCK, DEB!
      Julie

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  21. I LOVE Julie's books, and I love Christmas books to help get me into the spirit. I'm not sure I get as full of Christmas spirit as Julie does, but maybe the books will help!

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    1. Hey, SUSAN, THANK YOU my friend, and yes, I do believe one of these Christmas books could help you get into the Christmas spirit, so fingers crossed for a win!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

      know just the

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  22. Great interview with Julie! I would love to win Julie's books to give as a gift for my Mom. They would be a blessing to her.

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    1. Aw, CARYL, that's so sweet of you to want to bless your mama, so I'm pulling for you to win -- come on, Randomizer, three chances to win!!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK, my friend!
      Julie

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  23. Great interview Julie, as always. Thanks for the opportunity to win some of your books. I have most of them, missing these though. Looking forward to reading your newest too!

    Kathy K.

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    1. Hey, KATH, then we definitely need to get one of these babies into your hot, little hands, so GOOD LUCK, sweetie!

      Hugs and more hugs,
      Julie

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  24. I have read so many of Julie's books and it's always the same I can't put them down. I truly love the stories and the messages they convey.

    Lourdes

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    1. Whoops ... I did it again, Lourdes -- replied to your comment in the comment below. :|

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  25. Aw, LOURDES, thank you soooo much, you sweet thing! I would LOVE to send you a winning copy, so GOOD LUCK!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  26. I'd love to win one because I have all her books except The Best Gift of All! It's be a treat to get it because I love the O'Conner family! And Julie's writing is such a blessing. So many good things to say about her and her writing!

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    1. YAY, NANCY ... I'm honored that you have all of my books, my friend ... THANK YOU sooooooo much!!

      And I would LOVE to send you a winning copy of Lizzie and Brady's story along with the other great novellas in the collection, so GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs and more hugs,
      Julie

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  27. Julie is one of my favorite authors! I would love to win any of her books. They always encourage and challenge me in just the right ways!

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    1. Aw, KATE, thank you SOOO much, you sweet thing!! And I would truly love to send you a winning copy, so here's to a win!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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    1. Hey, MEL, Alexis does a VERY good interview, so all the thanks goes to her. Thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs
      Julie

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  29. One of the things l love about the novellas Julie is writing now is that they continue the stories of the O'Connor family, even though the main series is over. :) Thanks for the chance to win!

    P.s. - Zekkaina on rafflecopter

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    1. Hey, JENN, I totally agree, my friend, which is why ALL my Christmas novellas will be about the O'Connors. And I am REALLLLLY excited for next year's because it will be about Katie and Luke, WHOM I absolutely LOVE!! So writing these is fun for me, too, because I get to revisit this family I love. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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  30. I want to win a book by this author since I have yet to read one of her books.
    jwisley(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. YAY, JOYE -- YOU, my sweet friend, are my favorite type of reader -- NEW blood!! ;)

      Since you haven't read any of my books yet, then I invite you to check out my style on the EXCERPTS page of my website where I have posted my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books. OR you can check out my latest novel, Isle of Hope, on the Isle of Hope page of my website, which not only has the first chapter of the book, but excerpts, quotes, celebrity pix AND a contest to have a character named after you in my next book!!

      OR ... my Christmas novel, A Light in the Window, is on sale right now for only 99 cents, so here's the video my artist hubby did using my daughter as the model for both the cover and the video:

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Anyway, here are the other links I invite you to check to see if you like my "passion with a purpose" style of writing:

      JULIE'S FAVORITE ROMANTIC & SPIRITUAL EXCERPTS


      ISLE OF HOPE PAGE

      HUGS and GOOD LUCK, Joye!
      Julie

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  31. Love to win these books, because I am always looking for new christian authors to read, plus I would love to share these books with a friend.

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    1. Hey, KAREN, it sounds like you haven't read any of my books before, and if not, then I invite you to check out my style on the EXCERPTS page of my website where I have posted my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books. OR you can check out my latest novel, Isle of Hope, on the Isle of Hope page of my website, which not only has the first chapter of the book, but excerpts, quotes, celebrity pix AND a contest to have a character named after you in my next book!!

      OR ... my Christmas novel, A Light in the Window, is on sale right now for only 99 cents, so here's the video my artist hubby did using my daughter as the model for both the cover and the video:

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Anyway, here are the other links I invite you to check to see if you like my "passion with a purpose" style of writing:

      JULIE'S FAVORITE ROMANTIC & SPIRITUAL EXCERPTS


      ISLE OF HOPE PAGE

      HUGS and GOOD LUCK, KAREN!
      Julie

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  32. Reading this interview reminded me of why I loved this family, even when Charity made me want to throttle her! I'm ready to know more of their story! And great questions!

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    1. MELODY!!! Hey, girl, you won a copy of Isle of Hope, didn't you? If so, have you read it? If you did and liked it and post a review, PLEASE let me know so I can enter you in my contest, okay?

      Hugs, and here's to another win, my friend!

      Julie

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  33. If I won how could I pick between Charity & Lizzie? I want to read both of their stories! :-D
    I appreciate your books because of this: "I love romance, make no mistake, but without God in the middle, it is flat, empty, pointless. So I guess you could say that although I write books heavily laced with romantic passion, they are also intensely spiritually passionate as well, with God always firmly anchored in the middle."
    FB: Jamie Gil

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    1. LOL, JAMIE, since I think Charity is such a hoot, I would always go with her first because she's up to her lovable tricks in this novella, so it's a bit lighter story than Lizzie & Brady's, which is more intense, highlighting a serious problem in some marriages.

      Yep, that's my quote, and it's as true today as then. Maybe more so because of the spiritual sabbatical God led me to take last year, which drew me closer to Him, not only in my life, but especially in my writing. And Isle of Hope is certainly evidence of that as my most spiritual book to date. :)

      Thanks for coming by, Jamie, and for your support, my friend.

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  34. I have to admit that I haven't read one of Julie's novellas. I lean towards longer books. I love to get lost for awhile in the details and fleshed-out characters of a big novel. Knowing that, give me a book like Julie's "A Passion Denied" and I am lost in the story until it ends. Sometimes not even then. Not to say I haven't ever read a novella, they just have to have a similar "oomph." I have a feeling that Julie packs a lot of "oomph", love and faith in a shorter story.

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    1. Hey, TERRILL, I soooooo understand what you mean because would you believe that until I started writing novellas, I did not want to read them either for the very same reason -- I'd much rather have a long, juicy book, and I just didn't think a novella could give me that.

      But I have to admit that I am shocked at just how much emotion I was able to pack into a short story, so it's been a lot of fun to write. And, I hope, to read! :)

      So GOOD LUCK, my friend, because I would like to see what you think as well. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Hey, TERRILL, blogger must have eaten my response to you because I posted one, but it didn't take I guess.

      I TOTALLY agree with you about loving a thick, juicy read, which is why I didn't read novellas either UNTIL I began writing them. Now I think it's soooo much fun (and a real challenge) to try and pack as much drama, passion, and angst into a short book as I can, and I think I manage to do it, or at least that's what some reviewers have said. :)

      So I would LOVE to see what you think of one of my novellas, especially since both are about the O'Connors (the first about Charity and Mitch), and my latest about Lizzie and Brady. So if you win, you MUST tell me what you think, okay?

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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