Wednesday, August 11, 2010

GASP!! A PASSION UNDAUNTED … and Book Giveaway!

The sweet, fragrant curves

of your body, the soft, spiced contours

of your flesh invite me

until dawn breathes its light
and night slips away.

Okay, quick—somebody turn on a fan, preferably one of those gale-force mega fans. You know, the kind that make you look like you just got a bad facelift? Because no, the above romantic quote is not from Harlequin Blaze or Silhouette Desire or even from one of my own books. Nope, we’re looking at a bestseller of astronomical proportions—"Song of Solomon 4:6-7, Message translation. Whew … who knew that the Creator of the Universe could burn up the pages with passion?

Uh … well, I did.

You see, it was one of the first lessons I learned at the age of 23, when my bestseller of choice went from Gone With the Wind to The Bible, and honey, let me tell you, I ran into passion with a capital “P,” the kind that made Rhett and Scarlett look like amateurs.

Passion for God
Passion for Romance
Passion to be all God has called us to be.

Which, for a gal who does everything with “passion”—from brushing my teeth with a vengeance, to piping dinner guests’ initials into twice-baked potatoes—is a HUGE relief! Because, let’s face it—I either have to admit that I have some genetic defect that translates into an overload of passion … or … I can believe that the God of my heart molded me in a manner that reflects the same intensity and passion of His own heart for each of us. Genetic defect or God’s hand … mmm, no contest.

So, why am I broaching this subject today? Well, because in exactly three weeks, the first book in my new “Winds of Change” series, A Hope Undaunted, will hit the bookstore shelves, and I thought this would be a timely opportunity not only for a giveaway, but to once again reiterate just why I write the intense type of romantic passion that I do.
For instance, did you know that in 2009, the romance genre generated $1.35 BILLION in sales? Well, if you read Tina Radcliffe’s excellent Weekend Edition a few weeks ago, you did know that, along with the astounding fact that in 2008, 75 MILLION Americans read at least one romance novel, 90% of which were women. Why? Because of passion, pure and simple. Only in the secular market, passion is seldom pure and rarely indicative of the God who created it. Which, and I don’t now about you, ticks me off to no end.
Because let’s face it—passion is powerful. It can drive a woman into the arms of a man, or a person into the arms of God. In truth, I believe romantic passion gives us a glimpse into the very heart of God. After studying the “Song of Solomon” in the Bible, I’m convinced that the God who created passion and intimacy did so to mirror the intensity of His own love for mankind. So I coined the tagline “Passion with a Purpose” because it is my belief that passionate romance laced with God’s precepts is also powerful—it can draw, woo and win advocates to its cause with the stroke of a keyboard. It is my hope that my books not only strike the balance between strong romantic and spiritual passion, but by interweaving the two, bring readers into an intimate relationship with the true author of romance.
Consequently, since passion is so important to me, I’ve talked a lot about it in my various Seeker blogs:
  • What God thinks of passion in a blog entitled A Passion for Passion
  • Why I write the type of intense romantic passion that I do in Life on the Edge
But one of the biggest reasons why I write intense romantic passion is the same reason that the romance genre is the most popular genre in the world. Because passion in any form—be it passion for country, romance, God, whatever—compels a human being to FEEL. It elicits a response that pulls a person from the sidelines into the heart of the matter, wooing them to a cause. And what better cause than a love affair with the God of the Universe, whose passion and intense love for each of is as pulse-pounding and heart-racing as the most romantic of novels. A passionate love affair that I believe is available to each and every one of us, and one which I strive to convey in my books—juxtaposing all the feelings and passions of romantic love alongside a relationship with God that can be just as intimate and exciting.
In book 2 of the “Winds of Change” series, A Heart Revealed, the heroine Emma Malloy tries to convince her young neighbor that not only can a relationship with God be as intense and romantic as the most heated love affair, but it teaches us the true meaning of love, enriching our lives and relationships in the process. Here is a small clip that illustrates what I believe Christian romance can and should do—tell a love story between a man and a woman, certainly, but also between a man and a woman and the God who longs to love them.
Livvie’s eyelids lowered as she shifted in her seat. “But we can’t see or feel God, Emma, so how can you feel his love? I need more than prayers to a God I can’t touch, see or hear—I want to hear words of love, see kind actions, feel hugs and kisses …”

“We all do, Livvie, because yes, we’re human beings. But we were made in God’s image.” Drawing in a deep breath, Emma leaned back in her chair, her eyes tender. “Which means, Olivia, like Father, like daughter. You want to be loved? So does he. You want to be touched? So does he. You want to feel the rush of a kiss or the warmth of a hug?” Tears pricked Emma’s eyes. “So does he. Which is why I rushed to him when Rory hurt me and my family betrayed me. And you know what? I found a God whose arms were open wide and whose heart leapt with joy when I called his name. As protective as a mother and as jealous as a lover, this was a God who wanted me for his very own. Me—Emma Malloy! To touch, to bless, to fill with his pleasure.” She swallowed hard, her gaze locked on Livvie’s. “Until I overflow, spilling his love on all those around me—treasured possessions of a passionate God.”

To some, “passion” is shocking in a Christian novel, but to me, it is a means of setting a heart ablaze for Christ, igniting a passion for Him with the spark of passionate romance. So to celebrate the release of my first “passionate romance” in a year and a half, I’m going to give away a signed copy of A Hope Undaunted AND end this blog with a repeat of my favorite love scene from that book. It’s my deepest hope and prayer that your love affair with God produces as many flutters of the heart as Katie’s love affair with Cluny and that your passion for Him will remain ... forever undaunted.

God bless!
“Katie, are you okay?” He loosened his tie and stared, concern creasing his brow as he watched her, her body slumped at the window with a hand to her eyes. She didn’t move, and the tightness in his gut increased. He approached quietly, afraid he would startle her. “Katie?”
“Oh!” She whirled around, staggering against the sill with a hand to her chest.
He clutched her arm to steady her, and the color drained from her cheeks. Softening his hold, he absently grazed her skin with his thumb, then ducked his head and smiled, eyes tender as he studied her. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you. Are you all right?”
She nodded stiffly, her gaze glued to the massive hand on her arm.
Worry wrinkled the bridge of his nose and he braced both palms on her shoulders, convinced something was wrong. Her face was white and her breathing labored, and he could swear he felt a hint of a tremble. “No, I can feel it. Something’s bothering you.” He pressed his hand to her forehead. “Are you sick?”
She jerked back from his hold and butted up against the window, arms crossed and hugging her waist. “No!” she said too quickly to suit him, clearly avoiding his eyes. “I mean maybe a little dizzy, but nothing serious. I just need to go home …”
He shifted, suddenly concerned it had to do with him. Plunging his hands in his pockets, he softened his tone. “Katie … is it me? Did I say or do something to upset you?”
She shook her head, gaze bonded to the floor. “No, please, I just need to—”
He nudged her chin up with his thumb, and her lips parted with a sharp intake of breath. And then he saw it. The gentle rise and fall of her chest, the soft rose in her cheeks, the skittish look in her eyes, flitting to his lips and then quickly away. Comprehension suddenly oozed through him like heated honey purling through his veins. Could it be? Was it possible that cold, callous Katie O’Connor was beginning to warm up? To him, of all people—Cluny McGee, the leper from her past? The thought sent warm ripples of shock through his body, thinning the air in his lungs. His gaze gentled, taking in the vulnerability in her eyes, the fear in her face, and all he wanted to do was hold her, reassure her.
As if under a spell, his gaze was drawn to her lips, parted and full, and the sound of her shallow breathing filled him with a fierce longing. “Oh, Katie,” he whispered, no power over the pull he was suddenly feeling. In slow motion, he bent toward her, closing his eyes to caress her mouth with his own. A weak gasp escaped her as she stiffened, but he couldn’t relent. The taste of her lips was far more than he bargained for, and he drew her close with a raspy groan. With a fierce hold, he cupped the back of her neck and kissed her deeply, gently, possessive in his touch. His fingers twined in her hair, desperate to explore.
And then all at once, beyond his comprehension, her body melded to his with an answering groan, and he was shocked when her mouth rivaled his with equal demand. Desire licked through him, searing his body and then his conscience. With a heated shudder, he gripped her arms and pushed her back, his breathing ragged as he held her at bay. “We can’t do this,” he whispered. He dropped his hold and exhaled, gouging shaky fingers through disheveled hair. His gaze returned, capturing hers and riddled with regret. “Believe me, Katie, as much as I want to, I’ve learned the hard way to take things slow. I should have never started this, and I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?”
Forgive him? She stared at him through glazed eyes, her pulse still pumping in her veins at a ridiculous rate. She never wanted this, couldn’t stand the sight of him, and now here she was, tingling from his touch and desperate for more. Addicted to the “King of Misery.” The very thought inflamed both fury and desire at the same time, muddling her mind. Dear Lord, she was torn between welding her lips to his or slapping him silly. With a tight press of her mouth, she opted for the second and smacked him clean across the face.
His jaw dropped a full inch, complemented nicely by a slash of red across his cheek.
Her chest was heaving, but at least it wasn’t from his touch. She narrowed her eyes and clutched her fists at her side, not all that sure she wouldn’t slap him again. “So help me, if you ever touch me again, you will be the sorriest person alive.”
He slowly rubbed his cheek with the side of his hand, exercising his jaw as if to make sure it still worked. His eyes glinted like blue glass, sharp and deadly. Even so, the swaggering smile of old eased across his face. He bent forward, his tall frame looming over her like a bad omen, and his voice held that cocky drawl so reminiscent of his past. “What’s the matter, Katie Rose,” he whispered, “does my touch make you nervous?”
The heat in her cheeks went straight to her temper. She iced him with a cool gaze. “Nervous? Around you? Hardly. You can dress up in a suit all you like, Cluny McGee, but to me you’ll always be the same cocky street brat with a twang in your voice and grime on your face.”
She knew her words hit their mark when a red blotch crawled up the back of his neck like a rash gone awry. A nerve pulsed in his temple, but his smile never wavered despite the steel edge of his jaw. One blond brow jagged high in challenge. “Is that a fact? Well then, how about a little experiment? Kind of like when you were eleven and I bet you couldn’t be nice?” He leaned close, his voice as hard as his eyes. “What d’ya bet I can make you nervous now?”
She tried to shove him out of the way. “I’m going home.”
“Not yet,” he whispered, blocking her in with a push to the wall. His voice, like the dominance of his hold, was a force to be reckoned with. “You always packed a wallop for a little girl, Katydid, but this time you picked the wrong street brat. You can turn your nose up at me all you want, but we both know that slap wasn’t so much about an innocent kiss …” He bent close, his eyes on fire and his breath hot against her face. “As how it made you feel.”
His words seemed to vibrate through her, low and thick in the air. She shuddered, and the force of his savage look trapped all protest in her throat.
“To you I’ll always be riff-raff, something vulgar and crude. Well, welcome to my world, Miss O’Connor. And, please, let me show you how we do it on the ‘streets.’ Because if I’m going to take a beating, you can bet your bottom dollar on two things for sure. One—I’m going to get my money’s worth.” A dangerous smile surfaced as his gaze focused on her lips. “And two …” His mouth hovered just above hers while his voice trailed to a whisper. “I’m gonna make you real nervous in the process.”
In a catch of her breath, he took her mouth by force, his late-day beard rough against her skin. A faint moan escaped her lips and all resistance fled, burned away by the heat of his touch, leaving her weak and wanting. His mouth roamed at will, no longer gentle as he devoured her, ravenous against the smooth curve of her throat, the soft flesh of her ear. With a guttural groan, he jerked her close with powerful arms, consuming her mouth with a kiss surely driven by the sheer will to ravage.
And then in a frantic beat of her heart, he shoved her away. She gasped, numb as she thudded against the wall. His chest was heaving and his eyes were hard, focused on her with cool disregard. “There. Now that makes two of the sorriest people alive.” He grabbed her purse from the floor and threw it on her desk, then rubbed his mouth with the side of his hand. “Better run home, Katydid. God knows the riff-raff that roam the street this time of night.”
He turned and walked into his office, slamming the door hard.
She stared, her body still quivering from his rage. Closing her eyes, she sagged against the wall, too stunned to move and too shaken to care. She pressed a trembling hand to her mouth, her lips swollen from the taste of him. She was doomed, she realized, and the thought shivered through her like a cold chill. She wanted a man she didn’t really want, and the very notion weakened her at the knees. He had called her one of the sorriest people alive. She grappled for her purse and put a hand to her eyes.
And God help her, she was.


authorkathyeberly said...

This sounds like an absolutely wonderful book! I want to read it!

Amber S. said...

Oh my goodness, Julie! First of all, I love that you're not afraid to talk about passion, and I love that you shared with us the importance of having a passion for God. :D

And that scene...oh my, I do hope Revell accepts me to review your book! And I hope it doesn't take TOO long to get here, because I really, really want to read it SOON!

God bless!

~Borders Girl


Christy--Southern Sassy Girl said...

The waiting has almost reached an end!! I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy!! :o)

Bluerose said...

I loved that scene! I can't wait!! :)

Dawn Kinzer said...

First of all - cool photo!

I've been waiting all summer to get my hands on this book, Jules!
And it should being showing up at my front door soon.

Looking forward to being a part of the Revell blog tour.

Love your books - love the way you share your passion for God - and love you, dear friend.


Julie Lessman said...

Good morning, all ... very early morning that is, because I haven't gone to bed yet and you guys already here!

In honor of the near release of A Hope Undaunted, we're going to go the dessert route today with Boston Cream Pie for Katie O'Connor (our properly sassy Bostonian girl) and Southern Fried Apple Fritters, Red Velvet Cake and Pe-can Pie for Arkansas-born Cluny McGee. Along with that, I've brought some of my favorites -- chocolate chip pancakes, peach blintzes a pecan cinnamon Kringle, complemented by hazelnut cinnamon coffee, of course, and a mind-boggling selection of teas, so dig in!!

Hey, KATHY, thanks SO much for stopping by -- I am always blessed when a fellow author takes time to leave a comment. Everybody else should check out Kathy's website at
Kathy Eberly

AMBER!!! You little night owl, you! And I sure hope Revell puts you on the list, too, although I don't see why they wouldn't. If they don't, you let me know, okay, because I know the blog lady REALLY well and I've been known to pester when necessary ... :)

Hey, CHRISTY, trust me, I can't wait for you to get your hands on a copy too, girl!! This is my favorite book of all five I have written, so I am realllly hoping everybody will like it as much as I do. Katie is such a hoot and Cluny McGee is hands-down the best hero I've had the privilege to write. Sigh. Anyway, thanks SO much for your support, my friend and good luck in the contest.

BLUEROSE ... Well, sweetie, you won't have much longer to wait because I'm guessing there will be books showing up in the stores as much as two weeks prior to the release date of 9/1 because I know lots of people (including me!) who have found my other books in some bookstores at least two weeks early. Of course, hopefully you will win the book in this contest, but if you do, you'll have to wait till I get my author copies unfortunately, which I am hoping will be next week. Fingers crossed ... :) Either way, thanks SOOO much, Bluerose, for your enthusiasm and support.


cynthia said...

Wow, each book just gets better and better. I've been waiting to see how their relationship is going to play out. I can't wait for it's arrival. Please enter me in the giveaway.
cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

Amber S. said...

Hello, my name is Amber, and yes--I am a night owl. ;)

Thanks, Julie! I'll keep that in mind about your powers of persuasion...because I am eager to get my hands on your latest book! :D

~Borders Girl

Sarah said...

I would like to read a passionate romance without all the secular doings and words. This one sounds great!

sadiekate2001 at

Julie Hilton Steele said...

From one Julie to another, WOW! Just excellent. It is officially on my to buy list if I don't win.

You may mention the answer to this in your other blog entries but how long did it take you to get comfortable with your passionate writing style? Did you have agents, critique partners or others who tried to talk you out of your style?

Oh, and my husband and I went out for dinner this week and the desserts of choice were Red Velvet Parfait and Apple Pie Creme Brulee. Definite twists on two great desserts. Thanks for bringing the goodies.

Peace and writing blessings your way, Julie

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...


Can't wait for this book.

Kirsten Arnold said...

Wow, Julie! I'm at work so I'm trying to act casual, but there’s a hole in my computer monitor from all the heat produced in that blog! Don’t know how I’ll explain that to the IT Specialist. :o) Seriously though a great blog and an even greater reminder of where true passion is found. My favorite line today: “I found a God whose arms were open wide and whose heart leapt with joy when I called his name.” That one brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful reminder of just how much passion God has for us! It’s awesome that He allows us to use our talents to remind others.

Thanks Julie! And I won a copy of A Hope Undaunted from a previous contest, so don’t put my name in the hat.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Me, either.

I think you totally found yourself writing this one and I can't wait to read it.

Well done, friend.

And the picture is a hoot-and-a-half and the food is to die for.

Win/win on a Ruthy-scale.

Lindi Peterson said...

Wow, Julie--what a way to start a Wednesday morning. Going to work now seems rather boring.
Thanks for the sneak peek and for writing about the passion that God has for us and God instills in us. I go to a church on Sunday nights--the name of the church? Passion City Church.
Oh, yeah---God has a passion for his people.

Thanks for keeping it real and keeping it God.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oops, sorry, the 'me either' was to Tina's comment that she couldn't wait to READ THAT BOOK...

And then it came in after Kirsten's...

Kirsten, darling girl, you're quick-draw mcgraw this morning!

Lindi Peterson said...

Ruthy!! Hello.

Debra E. Marvin said...

With today's food spread, I have to say I have a PASSION for sweets!

Can't wait for your new series...and a southern heroine? Wow!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Rose said...

WHEW! I'm awake now!

Julie, great excerpt.

RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

Patty said...


It sounds like you've got another great book on your hands, Julie. I want to read it!


Julie Lessman said...

DAWN!!! WOW, it's always great to see one of my favorite online friends here, so thanks for dropping by ... uh, especially so early! And, thanks for noticing the pic, too, because my artist hubby does all my crazy pics whenever I get a hair-brained idea, which is most of the time. I'll tell you what, the man should be canonized because I sure put him through the paces ... :) And I think the e-mails for the Revell blog tour went out yesterday, so I hope you got yours!

CYNTHIA said: "Wow, each book just gets better and better." Well ... that's every writer's dream, of course, that each book gets better and better, and I'm certainly hoping so, but I'm never sure because it seems like everybody has a different favorite of the three DOB books (I like Redeemed best, but the main consensus is split between APMP and Denied). But thank you for saying that, Cynthia, and especially THANK YOU for your kind encouragement and support! Good luck in the contest, my friend.

AMBER ... 2:39 AM??? Gosh, night owl is right!! I don't even want to KNOW what time your head hit the pillow because I think it would hurt. But, you youngsters can get away with far more than we "mature" types ... and I use that term loosely. :)


Pepper Basham said...

As usual, I'm left breathless as I read your words.
But more importantly, I want to be left breathless by the shocking love of God.
I think if we can ever really get just a tiny grasp of His love, we'll be beguiled, mesmermized,overwhelmed, and in utter amazement.

And I think why some people love to read romance so much is because they're looking for something that beautiful in a world of very unlovely things; their hearts are aching for a romance like that.
So funny Jules - the title of my latest blog post is "Romancing The Wicked Witch of the West" and is about God romancing us.

Oh Jules,
I don't need to be in the drawing. My book is ON. THE. WAY!!!!
And from one passionate person to another - I'd love to see my initials in a twice baked potato. LOL

Julie Lessman said...

SARAH said: "I would like to read a passionate romance without all the secular doings and words."

Thanks, Sarah, that's EXACTLY how I felt when I switched from secular romance (Nora was my favorite) to Christian because quite frankly, to me romance is not romantic AT ALL unless God is in the center. And although I do like to heat up the pages because as an author I am, after all, a by-product of Gone With the Wind (I started writing A Passion Most Pure after I read GWTW at the age of 12), it's always done in light of God's precepts, either celebrating the joy of marital passion or emphasizing the blessing of His precepts in single relationships. But ... if you have never read them before, please know that they are more romantically tense and heated than the average CBA novel, so just be prepared, okay? Good luck in the contest!

JULIE ... Gosh, I love that name! :) And thank you SO much for your kind words! "Red Velvet Parfait and Apple Pie Creme Brulee"??? Boy, you're hitting my hot button this morning, girl, so bring it on!!

And you asked "how long did it take you to get comfortable with your passionate writing style? Did you have agents, critique partners or others who tried to talk you out of your style?"

Actually that's a great question, and one I don't think I've ever been asked before (and I have an interview doc with over 650 questions, so that's saying something!).

I've actually been "comfortable" with my passionate writing style since before I was twelve, which as I mentioned, was when I started writing APMP. You see, I've always been a romance freak, even sneaking down to watch romantic movies at night after my mom and dad went to bed. As part of a really big family, I guess I wanted a little more love than what was left after 13 kids (I was #12). Anyway, when I read Gone With the Wind, my aspirations to become a writer went crazy, and so I started writing my own romance novel and short stories and even at that young age, they ALWAYS had lots of heat and heart AS WELL AS adherence to moral behavior!

And, no, nobody tried to talk me out of my style (although my husband is always pushing me to tone it down to avoid those nasty 1-star reviews, and actually I have toned Undaunted down from Denied because of him, so he's happy now). Of course, 45 rejections on APMP speaks pretty loudly as to many editors and agents not approving of my style of passionate writing, but my agent is firmly behind me and always has been, believing strongly like I do that passionate Inspirational romance is really needed in today's world where young girls are spoon-fed the world's amoral views.

Thanks for the question, Julie, and good luck in the contest!


Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, TEENSTER, the Seekers should be getting their books sometime in September, I think, so it will be coming, rest assured!

KIRSTEN ... uh, sorry about the computer, sweetie! :) And thanks for pointing out that line because I have to say that Emma's story (A Heart Revealed, due out Sept. 2011 AND which I JUST sent to my editor yesterday!) is the MOST spiritual of all five books. So much so, that I even worried it was too spiritual, if there is such a thing. The reason is that Emma Malloy's total focus in life is on God and others, whenever she is in the room, you feel it, see it. It is my husband's favorite of all five books because he absolutely LOVED Emma and Sean. And my 92-year-old aunt called it a "gang-buster of a story," so I am hoping my readers will think so too! :)

Kirsten, your signed copy of Undaunted will be coming as soon as I receive my author copies, so be on the lookout in the next two weeks, okay?

Okay, girl, now get back to work!


patti said...

WOW! Great post! And fabulous-looking cover!!!

Can't wait to work together soon!
That passion'll be oozing off the WALLS!

Julie Lessman said...

Aw, thanks, RUTHY -- you know I feel EXACTLY the same way about your fabulous books, too, so we definitely have a mutual admiration society going on here in Seekerville! And if you had ANY idea how many pics poor Keith had to take before I got one I was willing to post online, you would begin a novena for the poor guy! This chickie is just NOT photogenic without at least 50 takes and LOTS of PhotoShop magic ... :)

LINDI ... "Passion City Church"??? Oh, honey, where do I sign up?? What a very cool name for a church ... heck, you might even get some poor, unsuspecting nonchurch-goers straggling in by mistake ... :) Thanks SO much, Lindi, for stopping by and good luck in the contest!


Sandra Leesmith said...

Whew! Would someone please turn on the fan for me.

Great scene Jules, but then I wouldn't expect anything less from you dearheart.

And boston creme pie and apple fritters. Couldn't decide so had both.

And yes, yes, yes, God's love is passionate. I agree with you Pepper. I think people crave love in this crazy world and that is why they love romance.

And God of course.

Melanie Dickerson said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this post, Julie! I agree with every word! This is EXACTLY how I feel. You stated it so very well. God invented romance to show us how he feels about us. And passion, experienced between husband and wife, is holy.

I love writing intense love stories. It's my passion! But I want them always to reflect God's love and truth. I want people to want to get closer to God when they read my books. And I love your books, Julie, because I think that's exactly what they accomplish.

You go, girl!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, DEB, somehow I knew the sweets might draw you out, you sweet thing! And we don't have a Southern heroine here, we have a somewhat Southern hero. Cluny McGee is the little street ruffian from A Passion Denied who was born in Arkansas and lived with his gram in Boston before moving to the streets of New York as a gang leader. Brady, his spiritual mentor, pulls him out of the dregs into a decent lifestyle by sending him to college and law school, but his heart is always for the little kids on the streets, which is why he takes a very low-paying job at the Boston Children's Aid Society. Uh ... more info than you ever wanted to know, right? Well, you'll see ... :)

ROSE ... grin ... SO very glad I could help get you going this morning, sweetie! Now I'm hoping I can keep you up at night if/when you read the book ... :)


Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, Patti, one can only hope AND pray, my friend, but the reviews and sales will tell for sure. All I know is that I absolutely LOVE this book and cannot wait to read it myself when I get my author copies -- crazy, huh?

Aw, thanks, PEP, I can always count on your sweet comments making me smile. And, oh man, I LOVE the concept of "God romancing us," because it is SOOO true!! He is definitely the biggest Romantic of us all because as I've said many times before -- like Father, like daughter! And if you ever come to St. Loo, I'll have you over for dinner where I just may pipe your initials in a twice baked potato! OR ... I guess I could just sprinkle it with "pepper" and be done with it ... :)

By the way, anybody wanting to read Pepper's wonderful blog about God romancing us, here's the link:
Words Seasoned with Salt


Julie Lessman said...

PATTI!!!! I hope you're kicking up those prayers for me, girl, 'cause I've been a wee bit over-caffeinated this week! YIKES ... I will be teaching a 5-day writer's workshop on "Passionate Christian Fiction" at the Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, Wisconsin with Patti Lacy in under TWO WEEKS!!

So anybody interested in learning from one of the best women's fiction authors around, MS. PATTI LACY, and watching me TRY and teach can actually still sign up for the conference. The info is on my website calendar. Thanks for stopping by, Patti!

SANDRA said: "I think people crave love in this crazy world and that is why they love romance." Amen to that, my friend, which was EXACTLY the case with me as a very young girl. Thank God that now most of us know that craving is really for the
God of Romance and not just the novels! :)


Pepper Basham said...

You gotta date. Now I just need to figure out what types of conferences (whether in speech path or writing) happen near St. Loo so I can justify a trip ;-)

Julie Lessman said...

Aw, thanks SO much, MEL, for your kind words and your support!! And speaking of "intense love stories," I cannot WAIT to get my mitts on your beautiful debut book, The Healer's Apprentice!! I swear it will be one of those books that I constantly look at the cover while I'm reading because it is one of the best covers in the CBA market today, in my opinion. And anybody who hasn't seen it needs to check out this link AND buy it!!

The Healer's Apprentice

PEPPER honey, you get your sassy little tush to St. Loo, and I may actually cook for once (something I gave up when I started writing, unfortunately because I was pretty good at it), so Keith will be very indebted!! :)


Julie Lessman said...

Ooops ... just noticed the Amazon link did not work for Mel's book, so check it at for yourself -- it's GORGEOUS!!


Janet Dean said...

Julie, great post and a wonderful excerpt!! Thanks for sharing. I've loved all of your books! Can't wait to read A Passion Undaunted!!

I'm grateful our God is the lover of my soul. Where would I be without Him?

The dessert buffet is fabulous!! I'm so full of sugar, I'm hyper. LOL

Hugs, Janet

Julia M. Reffner said...

OK, thank you for whetting my appetite, Julie. Since I'm done with the series, I am so hoping for Hope Undaunted to come soon...though I haven't heard anything about it for a while. Loved Cluny...and I'm so glad we'll be seeing more of Emma. You created so many characters that I would like to learn more about.

Another thing I'm so glad you tackled in book #3 was the passion for having a baby. I could relate to Faith's journey because we waited quite a while for both of our children. Though I know I'm quite blessed as many women also go through infertility and miscarriages. But I'm glad that you tackled that issue.

Anyway, I hope to post some good reviews for you in the next few days (I'll try to get them up around the web). Things have gotten a bit crazy lately and writing has gone on the back burner.


Cindy said...

Julie -
Thanks for introducing me to Seekerville and for this wonderful post. I am just finding my way in the writing world and have been looking for a place “belong”. I’ve wondered, thought, prayed, pondered if I was crazy – could what I felt driven to say have a home some where? Would it even matter?

As I write this I am overwhelmed with a multitude of emotions. Gratitude. Relief. Joy. I’ve been looking for an oasis in the blog world for a couple of years now. Thank you for guiding me here.

I look forward to reading your newest release.

G.R.I.T.S. said...

Ok, I want more! lol...You sure know how to hook a person!!!! I can't wait to read this book!!!!!

Rae Byuel

Susan Anne Mason said...

Good morning, Julie!

Whew. Your post woke me up in a hurry this morning! Got the heart a pounding! Who needs a treadmill? LOL.

Proof that you don't need explicit scenes to have great romance. I just read my first Deeanne Gist book, "Maid to Match". What a wonderful read. And boy can she get your heart pounding with just a description of a look between the hero and heroine! Talk about sexual tension! Whew.

We are so grateful to your agent for believing in you and getting your books published! YAY!

Can't wait for the new one. But don't enter me in the draw because I've pre-ordered it and if I'm real lucky, it might come early!

Have a fantastic day!


Edwina said...

WOW! What a fantastic scene! I would love to read your book. I'd be happy to write a review as well.

Song of Solomon is one of my favorite books of the Bible because it is about how God loves us - his Bride.


Julia M. Reffner said...

Julie, I reread that comment and didn't realize how it sounded. I meant I will try to get some "positive" reviews up for you. The way I said it came out kind of more arrogant than what I meant for it to. I just know every 5-star review helps a little bit.

Julie Lessman said...

JANET!!! YES, the lover of our souls!! I sure know where I'd be without him, and trust me, there would be some "heat" going on, but it wouldn't feel too good ... :) And you hyper??? Honey, you and I don't need sugar for that, girl, just each other and The Seekers at a conference, right??

JULIA ... thank you SO VERY MUCH for reading the entire series, my friend. I know I strong-armed you into it because I didn't want you reading A Hope Undaunted first when there are SO many fun surprises in the first three Daughters of Boston books that truly enhance the reading experience for Undaunted, so forgive me!

Anyway, thanks for your kind words on Denied and I look forward to your reviews ... uh, especially if they're good! :)

The fertility issue is actually a heartache that I went through, but God is faithful, and He blessed my husband and me (after a lot infertility workup and prayer) with two of the biggest blessings in my life, a son and a daughter. So I certainly know the pain of fertility, a pain, by the way, that our Miss Charity encouters in book 2 of the "Winds of Change" series that causes her and Mitch a wee bit of mischief ... :) Thanks again, Julia for your invaluable support!


Sara said...

Wow, what a great scene! I cannot wait for this book to come out...thank goodness September is right around the corner. :) I love your books Julie and the passion for God that you put into them.


Julie Lessman said...

Oh, CINDY, WELCOME!!! We are SO thrilled to have you as part of the Seekerville family because Seekerville readers are truly some of the best in the blogging world! And I don't know if you know our background, but we are a group of fifteen contest divas that kept butting heads in various contests over the years, so we knew each other's names reallllly well, but not each other. That is, not until Miss Ruthy Logan Herne suggested we start a group blog devoted to praying and encouraging each other into publication and learning more about our craft as we go along.

So, YES, this is absolutely the right place for you, my friend, because the Seeker ladies are incredible women with a wealth of talent in both writing and encouraging, so welcome aboard! And bring on those "multitude of emotions," girl, 'cause we like emotions on this blog ... uh, especially me! :)


Julia M. Reffner said...

Well, I'm glad you strong-armed me then, because I devoured each of them in 2-3 days :).

Oh, Julie, I'm so glad you are tackling this subject a bit more, too. I was kind of hoping for more about seems like most women around my age that I know have either had a miscarriage, infertility issues, or serious issues with a pregnancy. I never realized how common it was. Can't wait to read the WHOLE series!

Julie Lessman said...

RAE ... why, thank you, sweetie, "hooking" a person is what I am all about -- hooking them into a passionate relationship with the true Author of Romance, that is! And if you haven't read the Daughters of Boston series, I would encourage you to at least read book 1, A Passion Most Pure, just to get a really good handle on the background of this family because it truly will enhance the book. A Hope Undaunted is about the youngest O'Connor daughter in this passionate family of eight (including mom and dad), so you'll want to be up to speed on all their crazy antics and ... ahem ... their passion for God and for each other! :) Thanks for stopping by, Rae, and good luck in the contest!

P.S. to anyone who wants to try and win a signed copy rather than buying one, check out my website for tons of blog giveaways I have going right now and others coming up in the future that I haven't posted yet. Here's the link:

Julie's Blog Giveaways


Holly said...

What an amazing scene for Katie and what a hint about book 2! I so can't wait to read it. I'm in the middle of another book right now, but I think after that, I'll have to go back to APMP and start all over from the beginning to get even more amped up to read Katie's story!


Kav said...

Julie, I am getting more and more excited about A Hope Undaunted's release. You're just tantalizing me with these snippets! And I love that you don't let the notion of passion 'undaunt' you! :-) I've read all your books and I don't get what the naysayers are naysaying about.

Like Susan, I appreciate an author who can convey a romantic connection with just a look. When I’ve read any of your books, that’s what I felt immediately – the connection between the hero and heroine (even when they are fighting it!). I’ve tried to analyze how you do it and the best I can come up with is it’s a slow build – a touch, a glance, a heated argument, shared laughter - and that connection can even happen in a single sentence, but when those sentences add up so does the tension. As a reader, that leaves me on edge, wanting more. Stir some tenderness into the mix, add some passion for God and the desire to do what’s right and you pull that tension even tauter. As a reader, I come away feeling as if I’ve lived the life of the heroine -- felt every raw emotion, every frustration, every hope…it’s draining but I LOVE it! So don't change PULEEEZE!!!!

Julie Lessman said...

Grin ... thanks SUE, both for your sweet comment and for ordering the book. Now here's hoping you love it as much as I do!

And talk about loving a book -- I just finished Deeanne Gist's Maid to Match last week, and WHOA, BABY, what a great read!! I think it is by far her very best yet, which is saying something because I loved them all. When I grow up, I want to be just like Dee ... uh, except I'd have to go through tons of plastic surgery first, but hey, it could happen ... NOT!

EDWINA ... oh, girl, I would LOVE for you to write a review, my friend, so do check out my other blog giveaways to increase your chances for a win, okay? And thank you SO much for your kind words. Song of Solomon is kind of like my writer's Bible, you know, because passion is soooo my thing ... in case nobody has noticed ... :)


Kav said...

Oh and what is a Revell Blog Tour? I keep hearing about blog tours, but I'm not quite sure what they are.

Ruth Logan Herne said...



Hey, girl, I can't like STEAL Julie's time here, but since I totally outed you online a few days ago (I do believe I called you a slacker... in public... I'm so mean...)

Good to see you!!! Do you need prodding because I'm wearin' boots, girlfriend and my WIP is smokin'. Do not tell me you're not total-torque after that conference.


Go, go, go!!! (my former cheerleader erupted for a brief moment. Wait a minute, I'll stuff her back into the girdle)

There. Much better.

Send me a progress report and I will NOT BE NICE.

I promised, remember? Our job is to deliver the goods. That's all I'm sayin'...

Okay, back to Julie's passion which is over the top wonderful and I cannot wait to read this book and I mean that THIS MUCH because she fed me excerpts of it and I was captivated by the balance, the tone, the quality...

(Of course I yelled at her about Charity but so did half the world, so I barely feel bad about it. Well, maybe a little bad. Wench. Charity, that is. Not Julie)

I'm leaving before I make more trouble, but I'm grabbing fresh coffee and I filled all the carafes. We're good to go.

Courtney said...

I'd like to win this book :0) Interesting scene that you shared!


Julie Lessman said...

JULIA!!! Honey, I didn't get that at all from your comment, so please do NOT worry. Even if you did mean whatever you think it sounded like, I assure you that I have a pretty tough hide, compliments of some pretty salty 1-star reviews, my friend, so YES, bring on those 5-stars if you can ... but NO pressure! :)

And in regard to infertility and miscarriage, you said: "I never realized how common it was." You are SO right, my friend, because it is painfully common today. In fact, I actually list statistics in book 2 in a scene where Charity is talking about it, so it is a hidden heartbreak that many women have to suffer over quietly.

Thanks, SARA, I appreciate your very kind words more than I can say. Trust me, an author NEVER gets tired of hearing praise for his or her books. Now the other types of comments? Yeah, you can bury those at the bottom of the ocean! :)


Vince said...

Hi Julie:

What a marvelous love scene but I have one question: How old is the hero, Cluny McGee? He has the confidence and poise of a forty year old man. To get slapped silly and stay so cool, that’s no kid! Is it his street smarts? Cluny seems like a very interesting hero. I think I will like him the best of the four so far.

BTW: 512 pages! Is that a Seeker record? And is there “A Passion Unabridged” in the future? : ). Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Besides, the longer the book, the better it as to be! I’ll be reading it on September 1st, 12:01 am on my Kindle.


Casey said...

WONDERFUL, Julie!! 'Nuff said! :D

Julie Lessman said...

Yeah, HOLLY!!! I LOVE to hear when readers reread the series before my next book because I do the VERY same thing!! I've already reread A Passion Most Pure and A Passion Redeemed (my very favorite!) and now I have to read A Passion Denied before I will let myself read Undaunted when it comes, ESPECIALLY since Denied introduces our very lovable and charasmatic hero, Cluny McGee!

I was rereading A Passion Redeemed in bed one night a few weeks ago and Keith wanted to know when we could turn out the lights because he was tired and I always tell him,
"just a few more pages, babe, because I gotta find out what happens!" :)

KAV ... gee, thanks, sweetie, but I did chew on my lip a wee bit when I read your line "I appreciate an author who can convey a romantic connection with just a look." Uh, I have to admit I wish I was better at the romantic tension with just a look or statement as I tend to more of an action-oriented romantic, BUT Dee definitely did that in her latest, A Maid to Match, so maybe I'll reread that to take lessons from her because she is the master! But just so you know, I wouldn't worry too much because I'm guessing I'm not gonna change anytime soon ... :)


Mary Connealy said...

Wow, Julia, this SCENE.

Smokin' hot, girl.

I read every word and re-read most of them.

I've read this book and remember this page VIVIDLY. I cannot wait to have the book and get another chance at reading it.

And I'm already crazed for the next one.

Julie Lessman said...

KAV ... the Revell blog tour is a wonderful concept that Revell just started (A Passion Denied was actually the maiden book last year for this new blog tour). If you are a reviewer with a blog that has pretty good numbers, you basically sign up with them to be eligible to review any of their books -- you pick and choose. I believe the blog tour for Undaunted is just getting underway (books going out), so if you are interested and your stats are good, let me know. I would LOVE to have you aboard and you would love it too, trust me, with all the great authors Revell has these days.

RUTHY!!! What are you apologizing to Lindi for, girl -- getting outed by you is like a badge of honor! :)

And you said: "Of course I yelled at her about Charity but so did half the world, so I barely feel bad about it. Well, maybe a little bad. Wench. Charity, that is. Not Julie."

Grin ... go ahead and out me too, Ruthy, because you know darn good and well that I can be a "wench" just like others who shall remain unnamed. Let's face it, being a "wench" is colorful and fun and raises the blood pressure, which is always a good thing in romance novels, right??? :)


Gina Welborn said...

God invented romance to show us how he feels about us. And passion, experienced between husband and wife, is holy.

Well said, Julie and Melanie!

I love how Julie, in her passion-posts for Seekerville as well in her books, seeks to draw that link between the passion between a man and a woman to the passion God has for us, for all people.

So Julie girl, I give you 5 stars.

Thanks, though, for the heat-warning about Denied. It's on my stack of books to read. Right below Mary's 79,999,999 that I haven't gotten to yet. *sigh*

Julie Lessman said...

And, COURTNEY, I certainly would like you to win this book, too, so thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Good luck in the contest!

VINCE!!! I laughed out loud at your comment, "Is there “A Passion Unabridged” in the future?" :) Hmmm ... not a bad idea. I'll have to talk to my editor ...

And "512 pages"???? Really and truly?? I didn't know that because the galleys are done in way less pages than the actual final book and so are the ARC copies, so YIKES!! And to think I actually tried to make this book shorter than the others. Oh, well. I promised my husband that my next series will be about a 100 pages less per book, so talk about "a hope undaunted"!!:)

And Cluny McGee is 23 in this story and Katie is 18, but Cluny was always older mentally for his age, primarily because of his street smarts in having to fend for himself without a family that cared. And then he leads a gang on the streets of New York, where he becomes quite wise beyond his years, especially after Brady gets a hold of him and sets him back on the right track with higher education AND a deeper relationship with God.

To tell you the truth, I would be very surprised if most readers don't like Cluny the best of all my heroes because he is so loyal and loving and the epitome of unconditional love, that he's bewitched me completely. Favorite hero, hands-down.

Thanks SO very much, Vince, for being so diligent about ordering the book -- I hope it's worth the money to you!


Julie Lessman said...

CASEY!!! "Nuff said," indeed! Wish I was as good at minimal words as you are, Case, because I sure could write a lot more books in a given year if I was!:) Thanks, sweetie, for coming by.

MARY ... grin, "almost crazed for the next one"??? Uh, that might be a compliment, sweetie, if I didn't know you were already 'crazed' getting those "79,999,999" books out that Gina was talking about!!

Seriously, thank you, Mare, for reading Undaunted for me, my friend. Your feedback always lifts me up.

I gotta tell you, Mare, that I am reading Doctor in Petticoats and can barely put it down. I don't know how you do it, but your books don't just get "better and better," they get incredibly "better and better," which freaks me out because I already think they are wonderful. LOVED the two lines:

Four long years of hard work, long nights, intense training, and massive textbooks, and Beth had been reduced to a lucky charm.


The man was a lunatic who could somehow tap into sanity when he looked her in the eye. What did that make her? A human strait jacket?

I laughed out loud on both of those, girl -- great job!


Gina Welborn said...

Hey, Ruthy, I might have said something to her about Charity too. However Brady saved the day there. And Charity did learn her lesson, and I'm sure many Charity-like women related to her because of how hard it was for her to change her ingrained behavoir. Hmm. I now have a fresh new perspective of that near-the-end-of-the-book scene.

Hey, Julie, since we're talking about you, the other day I was recommending books for my library to buy, and I noticed the year of your birth. I thought "No freakin' way! She could be my mom, which would be nice, not that I want to get rid of mine." (No offense intended to those offended by my fragrant use of a quasi-curse word. I am trying to rid my vocabulary of it, however, I elected to be honest here about what I'd thought.)

So once I stopped quasi-curseful thought, I said to myself, "I wonder if published author women like the fact the year of their birth is listed on every library webserver in the country. Hmmm."

It's not a matter of being ashamed. It's just...well, who wants it broadcasted?

You look gorgeous, woman! I want your genes. Or at least to know what skin treatment you use.

And thanks for sharing your passion with us!

Emily C. said...

Thank you so much for keeping us all up to date with your books! I think I have read Daughters of Boston series multiple times! I love the way the story flows and the characters react...and they seem like real people...romantic and passionate people; not the ones you find in trashy romance paperback novels! I cannot wait till I head over to the bookstore and get a copy of a Hope Undaunted!
Thank you so much for what you do!

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

*Sigh* that never gets old! I love that scene and DEFINITELY can see why it's one of your favorites! Is it September yet? LOL! This waiting is KILLING me.

XOXO~ Renee

Mary Connealy said...

Oh, oops, I called Julie Julia.

My current heroine is Julia and I type it out Julie ALL THE TIME.

So I do a find and replace on Julie but I can't get that with the blogger comments.

I swear I know your name girl.

Julie Lessman said...

GINA!!! Five stars, really???? I'll take 'em, girl, before you read A Passion Denied, that is because I will double warn you right now that it is the most heated of all three books, just so you know. But that's only because I zero in on the beauty and joy of marital love with three of the couples, so naturally there's going to be a lot more heat. But it's all good and according to God's precepts, so hopefully you will think so too. :)

And you made me laugh out loud, too, with your comment about Mary's books. In fact, just the other day, I got a complimentary copy of MaryLu Tyndall's latest book Surrender the Heart because I was an influencer for it (it's WONDERFUL, by the way!!) and it came in the usual Barbour mailing box. Keith handed it to me and said, "Here's another one of Mary's books -- does the woman ever sleep???" No, as a matter of fact, she doesn't, which REALLY gets on my nerves because she's like this sleepless dynamo, not unlike a zombie who just keeps walking, writing, selling ... not to mention climbing the charts to stardom. Sigh. All I can say is that after reading her books, the brat deserves it.

And thanks, sweetie, for the sweet compliment about my age, although I always cringe when I realize I could be your mother ... heck, I could be your grandmother as far as that goes! Thank God for an artist husband who can PhotoShop my wrinkles and double chin. Wish he could do something for me in person, but he refuses to let me get plastic surgery. Says he loves me just the way I am. Yeah, yeah, yeah ... cheap way to save some money. And, yes, I did know that you can find out my age, not only on the library webserver, BUT on the copyright page of every book right underneath the Library of Congress notation where it lists my name and the year of my birth. Mmm ... wonder if I can sue ... :)


Julie Lessman said...

EMILY ... thank you SO much, my friend, for your very kind words -- SOOO appreciated, truly. And thank you for rereading my books, too, because that is one of the highest compliments you can pay an author. Bless you and maybe you won't have to buy Undaunted but will win it here! Good luck!

RENEE!!! Yeah, the wait is killing me, too, because it's been a year and a half since my last book due to circumstances out of my control, so it feels good to have a new release almost out there. From now on, the books will always come out in September of each year, but I am hoping to shorten future books and write two a year instead of only one, which I think I can do since I wrote A Passion Redeemed in two months working part-time at a day job. We'll see ... :)

And, MARY, you are more than forgiven, sweetie. I know you know my name ... I'm sure you groan every time you see it in your e-mails when I plead with you for help on some emergency or another!


Gina Welborn said...

Hey, Mary, I finally finished my review of book 1 of your 80 million books. As I mentioned yesterday on Facebook, you'll see how discussed Montana Rose, blood drives, cats, tire rotation, and 3 Things I Didn't Like About the Book. ;-)

Myra Johnson said...

First of all, Julie, this comment was left at the end of my post from yesterday, but clearly "Linda" thought she was getting her name in the hat for one of YOUR books.

"Linda" said...

Love the first series! Please enter me for Julie's first book from her second series. Thank you.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

August 11, 2010 10:36 AM

Second, as usual, you are one passionate lady, Miss Julie!!! And truly an inspiration! Looking forward to reading your next book!

Gina Welborn said...

Julie, I don't mind passion in a book. Seriously. After you did that post early this year on kissing scenes, I went back through my manuscript, studied your post, then tweaked my scenes.

I now hear you in my head saying, "A kiss is never just a kiss." Which I mostly quoted in my book because you're right.

Gina Welborn said...

Oh, and you are sooooo not olde enough to be my grandmother. Unless you had your first child at 12 and became a grandmother at 8.

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Woohoo! A book every September, well I'll never have a problem figuring out what to put on my birthday wishlist! :-P

XOXO~ Renee

lotus82 said...

Great interview!! Can't wait to read this!!


Julie Lessman said...

MYRA ... I happen to know for a fact that Linda will be asking for your books as soon as she reads the first one, my friend, because for somebody so incredibly gifted at women's fiction, you sure write a heck of a romance, girl!! Linda is one of my die-hard reader friends that I just LOVE because they seem to be as crazy as me, and everybody knows that misery (or insanity) loves company, so please forgive her! :)

Wow, Gina, thanks SO much for the great compliment about studying my post on kissing! I didn't think anybody read those things except for a few crazed romantics like myself ... oh, that would be you, too, wouldn't it?? And NO, I did not have my first child at twelve -- I was too busy writing the "great American novel" at that age, remember? Try 32 for my first kid and 37 for my second, which makes me REAL old right about now! But never too old for romance, right??? Trust me, all you youngsters, never a truer statement ... :)

RENEE ... yeah, just like Deanne Gist and Tamara Alexander, two of my FAVS among the big dogs -- at least I have SOMETHING in common with them ... :)


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jumping back in because Julie still likes me and agreeing with Gina that a kiss is never...



Just a kiss.

Gina, I loved that post as well because I want to emote that oh my goodness gracious sakes to betsy feeling too, and that's not easy to do sometimes so Julie's post was invaluable.

And I did hear that Mary sleeps occasionally.

Very occasionally.

And she writes in her sleep, so it really doesn't count at all.

karenk said...

julie...and excellent posting (as always)...i am so looking forward to reading katie's story...thanks for the chance :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Amber S. said...

Well, I live here on the West Coast, so it's a bit deceiving to ya'll what time I actually go to bed. Yes, I am a night owl, BUT I am not an East Coast night owl. ;)

Just had to clarify!

~Borders Girl

Julie Lessman said...

STEPH ... thanks for stopping by, sweetie, and for your kind comment -- MUCH appreciated, as always. Good luck in the contest!

RUTHY!!! What, did you just finish your 35th book or something? You know like Mary, leaving you with all this time on your hands ... is that why you're spending so much time harassing the troops??? Actually, I'm always thrilled to see your comments, my friend, because they always infuse me with some good ol' fashioned Ruthy drive and kick-in-the-butt ooomph, which I admit I need from time to time ... uh, whether I like it or not! :) Thanks for hanging out with me today ... you add a lot of life to any party for sure!

KAREN ... sooo good to see you here, girl, and I'm anxious to see what you think of Undaunted! Good luck in the contest, my friend.

AMBER ... a West Coast night owl, is it? Well, that does make me feel a little better although I would feel a WHOLE LOT BETTER if I had some of your youth and vitality. Sigh. Guess I have to live vicariously through my younger characters ... NOT!! With the sweetheart I'm married to, I don't have to live through my characters as I have my own personal romance novel going on in St. Louis, MO, thank you, God!! :)


Pepper Basham said...

Well, well, Julie
Your comments keep getting steamier and steamier ;-)
Which is very timely for me, since I am writing a kissing scene RIGHT NOW!!
Very inspirational - just so you know.
I love coming home from work early.

Btw, Ruthy, it's a kissin' scene from my Appalachian heroine's POV set in 1917 Blue Ridge. I LOOOVE the dialect, love the New York teacher who came to the mountains to 'educate the heathens', and love the sure-fire dynamite happening between them.
Sorry, Jules - got a bit passionate there. Your fault.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Wowza! Talk about a teaser of a scene. Loved the post, Julie!

forgravebooks at gmail dot com

Cindy said...

Ok.... I just read the linked blog - QUICK, DIAL 911 ... WE'RE SETTING A FIRE WITH ROMANTIC TENSION! - and I am SO in the right place.

I will be going to the bookstore on my way home in search of your books.

Inkwell Inspirations said...

Julie, I feel horrid for asking but asking is easier than researching.

And book 1, not counting US, is Ireland and...France??? Isn't awful that I can't remember.

Yes, this is a random question but at Inkwell Inspirations, next month we're starting a backlist promo thing. Well, October's is CBA fiction set in international locales. So even though Pure begins and ends in Boston, it's international enough in the middle to add to my list.

Inkwell Inspirations said...

Sorry, Juile, that last post was from me Gina. I forgot what account I was signed in under.

Angie said...

Julie, thanks for the link to your post! And I am going to LOVE reading your books. I am going to see if I can find them today. Thanks again!

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, sure, PEPPER, blame it on me, why don't you??? I've read your stuff, kiddo, remember? So I don't think you can pin this one on me ... :)

Thanks, SARAH, it is one of my favorite love scenes, as I said, but the others in the book are pretty good too, if I must say so myself, but then I'm SUCH a sucker for love scenes ... and Cluny McGee! :)

WOW, Cindy, thank you SO much for running out to the bookstore to get my book -- well, I guess my work here is done!! :) At the risk of sounding like a nag, though, PLEASE make sure you start with book 1, A Passion Most Pure, okay, because there are a number of big surprises that would be ruined if this series is read out of order. Thanks, sweetie, and I would love to hear your thoughts when you are done, okay? Unless they're not good ... then mum's the word! :)


Beth J said...

Julie! I just finished reading "A Passion Most Pure" - Loved It! Faith & Collin are a great couple and I really enjoyed their story.

I finished the book with a serious hatred for Charity, and have now begun reading "A Passion Redeemed". I'm looking forward to discovering Charity & Mitch's story. I love Mitch, and I'm hoping that I'll like Charity a little more by the end of this story. I have a feeling that I might... :)

Keep up the GREAT writing!


Pepper Basham said...

I have a writing question for you.
Because you enjoy writing the passionate scenes so much (and by passionate, I mean high emotional energy scenes, including anger ;-) - do you write scenes out of order as you think of them, or do you go straight through from beginning to end?
Just curious. If you daydream about your novel like me, do you 'see' scenes in your head before you get to them on paper, and write them down out of order?
Sorry - did that question make any sense?

Julie Lessman said...

GINA ... OR INKWELL INSPIRATIONS, whatever you are at the moment ... never, and I repeat NEVER apologize for anything that has to do with promoting my books, is that clear??? You are a total sweetheart for including me in that International promo, so THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

And, yes, both A Passion Most Pure and A Passion Redeemed are set in Dublin Ireland as well as Boston, so that sounds "international" to me! :)

ANGIE, you sweetheart, you!!! Thank you sooooo much for dropping by today AND for posting my other blog giveaway (currently going on at the Edgy Inspirational Romance blog at Edgy Inspirational Romance ) on your blog as well -- you are an absolute doll!! And I am overjoyed that you are going to pick up my book too -- THANK YOU doubly much!

As I mentioned above in Cindy's comment, PLEASE begin with book 1, A Passion Most Pure for the optimum enjoyment of this series, okay? My publisher HATES when I do that because they want me to focus on the new series, but reading the background (and surprises) of the first series will really enhance the reading of A Hope Undaunted ... uh, if you get that far, that is. Gulp ... here's hoping you like book 1 ... :)


Julie Lessman said...

BETH J ... Soooo thrilled that you liked A Passion Most Pure, girl, and yeah, Faith and Collin are a great couple. Wait till you see their substory in A Hope Undaunted -- it will tear your heart out (I hope! :)).

And, grin, yeah Charity doesn't win a lot of fans in book 1 -- some readers actually wrote me and asked me to "slap Charity" for them and Camy Tang said she wanted to see her maimed or killed! Even by the end of book 2, some people don't like her still, my husband included. He HATED her all the way through, so I didn't have the heart to tell him he's been married to her for over 32 years (minus the extreme beauty, of course), the poor guy. :)

But I guarantee you will LOVE her by book 3 and if not 3, then DEFINITELY book 2 of this next series (Sean and Emma's story) because she is SUCH a hoot she makes me laugh at my keyboard whenever she's in the scene. Gosh, I have to stop and remind myself that it's my humor and not hers, which shocks me because she's WAY funnier than I have ever been ... must be my alter ego or something. Okay, this is starting to sound weird, isn't it??? Oh well, I'm crazy ... what's new?!! :)

Oh, and I absolutely LOVE Mitch too ... up until Cluny McGee, he was my favorite (and still almost noses Cluny out, but not quite!).


Julie Lessman said...

Oooo, PEP, what a GREAT question!! I do it just like you do, girl -- getting scenes in my mind out of order, so great minds, I guess ...

Two love scenes that come to mind that came to me out of order and, in fact, before I even started writing the books are 1.) The last section of scenes in A Passion Redeemed when Charity barrels into the kitchen saying to her mother and Emma, "Well, mother, he's done it again -- brought another prospect home for his pitiful daughter." And the hero (I won't say his name for those who haven't read it yet) says "Two. He brought two." I saw that whole scene in my mind before I EVER wrote one word of A Passion Redeemed, so I actually wrote the last scene first in that book.

And 2.) it also happened on the next book I am writing, working title A Trust Restored, which is Steven's story. I actually just posted a part of this particular scene in my comments on Tina's recent blog where she was asking for a love scene that had a quote about writers or writing.

Before I even started writing the book, I saw one of the opening scenes between Steven and Annie (the new heroine who is going to be as spiritual as Faith because guess who her mentor is??? Faith!!). I saw Steven walking her home (not realizing she is the kid sister of the woman he loved four years prior), warning her in a brotherly fashion to stay as pure and sweet as she is, but she wants to get his attention, so she kisses him awkwardly (she has NO experience in love!) and Steven is so angry, that he pushes her up against the wall and kisses the daylights out of her, acting like he's going to take advantage of her (he wouldn't, though -- he's too strait-laced and ethical). She shoves him away and says, "I'm not that kind of girl." And he responds, "Then don't act like it!" and storms away. For those who didn't see it and would like to ... along with Tina's wonderful "Slacker Tuesday" blog, here's the link:

Slacker Tuesday

More than you EVER wanted to know, I'll bet, eh? Where's Casey and her minimal words when you need her, huh???


Melanie Dickerson said...

You're the sweetest, Julie! Can't wait to see you at the conference!!! Love ya, girl!

Vince said...

Hi Julie:


I didn’t know there was an issue with Charity until today!

I thought I was the problem. :(

Charity made me so mad that, as a guy, I didn’t want either of those nice heroes to wind up with her! I’m still on page 211 of book II. (I’m so glad I read book III before book II.) I figure that as long as I don’t finish book II, those two heroes are safe!

I see Charity as one of the wicket stepsisters in Cinderella – and while the stepsisters didn’t get their own books, they did made Cinderella look good!

Now that I think of it, I wonder what the Cinderella story would have been like if it were a trilogy with each of the stepsisters each getting her own romance. I think the Palace rewrote the real Cinderella story to make her look good.

You know, I’ve always loved your opening lines in APMP:

“Sisters are overrated, she decided. Not all of them, of course, only the beautiful ones who never let you forget it.”

I have this sneaky suspicion that Charity was doomed from the moment you wrote these great opening lines!

In any event, when the series is completed, perhaps after Book XII, I might have mellowed enough to finish book II. : )

Of course, there is a bright side: I’m passionate about Charity.


Anonymous said...

Please enter YOUR books!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, MEL ... funny, I think the same exact thing about you, my friend! Cyber hugs will have to do until we can get the real thing in Indy!! :)

VINCE said: "I figure that as long as I don’t finish book II, those two heroes are safe!"

Grin ... don't hold your breath, honey, because Charity ALWAYS gets her man ... although she does come close to losing him in book 2 of the "Winds of Change" series, but I guarantee you that you won't want her to because by then, you will love the little dickens, or at least I hope you do! :)

You also said: "Now that I think of it, I wonder what the Cinderella story would have been like if it were a trilogy with each of the stepsisters each getting her own romance."

Ooooo ... what a GREAT idea, Vince!! You just may have given a ton of authors a great idea! :)

JACKIE!!! Soooo glad you made it by, sweetie, and here's to a win! I hope to hear from you after you've finished Undaunted, okay? Good luck!


Joetta said...

Wow! Julie.. you know how to engage a person in the action immediately! oh my, I wish I could get my hands on that book NOW! and I promise, I will try really hard NOT to read the end of the book this time...grin...
counting down the days!!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Wow! Steamy :) But really, more than that, I'm impressed by the flow of the scene. The book sounds wonderful!

Patty said...

Wow, 94 posts so far!!!

When you're hot, you're HOT!

Just thought I'd post again to give myself a double shot at Julie's book!

Patty Hall

Julie Lessman said...

JOETTA!!! It is SOOO good to see you here, sweetie!! And, girl, if you take a sneak peek at the end before you finish the book this time, I will NOT sign it for you when we meet in Florida ... capiche?? And trust me, I WILL find out from Kelsey or Charlene, so don't try and hide it, you little brat! :) Cannot WAIT to meet all you guys come November!! Thanks for dropping by, my friend.

CINDY ... WOW! That's one of the nicest things you could say to an author, girl, so THANK YOU!! I liked your comment so much, I read it to my husband! :) Good luck in the contest!

PATTY!!! I just saw that you are a finalist in the Maggies along with our own Pam Hillman!! SUPER CONGRATS, girl ... I wonder if I can pray for a tie?? :)


Sarah'sWhimsicalNotions said...

Thanks Julie..This is just the True Romance reminder I needed, especially this week :) This is the 2nd time I've read that excerpt from the new book & I'm SO excited! :) Many blessings & thanks for your amazing writes.


Edna said...

Oh this sounds like a great book, I follow you on google and would love to win the book


Dianna Shuford said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Julie. I had never thought of romance and passion in those terms before, but you are absolutely right. One more thing to consider.


Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

I'd like to point out that when I go to Seekerville in Firefox, I cannot see your face on that cover. I just HAPPENED to go via Aol and I saw it for the first time.


Joetta said...

okay, okay.. I PROMISE NOT to read the end of the book - but, all I can say is - my family better NOT expect me to do anything the day the book arrives!!! I am on the lookout and counting the days!! Abby is begging me to read the 2nd book and is so excited to meet you in Nov!!

ForstRose said...

Wow has Seekerville been hopping today, but I suppose I should be used to the crowds carried in the wake of all these amazing authors. As a voracious reader I never manage to pare things down to a few favorites but rather the "Top 10" is multiplying faster than I can read a book. LOL.

Julie I think you can likely guess I would choose Hope since I already have a treasured signed set of DOB.

Sorry I missed the party earlier in the day but working 8-5 on the West Coast makes it nearly tomorrow by the time I sit down at my own computer trying to catch up on what's going on around book blogging land and seeing who I run into at some of my regular stops and on my own blog - Bibliophile's Retreat.

forest_rose [at] yahoo [dot]com

Julie Lessman said...

SARAH, you are more than welcome, my friend ... I need a "true romance" reminder ALL the time, like today when I'm scrambling to put together a lesson plan for the 5-day writer's workshop I'm doing PLUS have both a Seekerville blog and another blog giveaway up too! In the midst of all that chaos, I would be LOST if I didn't have the LOVE of my life, Jesus Christ, calming me down, filling me up, and showing me what true romance (and happiness) is really all about. Thanks for stopping by, Sarah, and I hope you like Undaunted. By the way, Sarah, I REALLY like your header, "Sarah's Whimsical Notions" and your e-mail addy, "fireflies n stardust." Creative and beautiful, both of them, giving a lovely glimpse into your personality, my friend. :)

All right, EDNA!!! Thanks SOOO much for following me on Google ... or did you mean Twitter? Either way, I am thrilled and wish you luck in this giveaway.

Thanks, DIANNA, and I'll tell you what -- I've certainly thought of romance and passion in those terms A LOT!! The excellent book "Captivating," by John and Stasi Eldredge really helped me to see that God is the God of Passion, and He created us in HIS image, so why does the world use HIS gift to us to further sin? Makes me crazy. We, the recipients of His amazing passion should be using it to glorify and draw others to Him. Okay, I'll step down from my soapbox now, but it is subject I feel VERY strongly about, obviously. Thanks for your comment, Dianna, and good luck in the contest, my friend.

GRIN ... thanks, TEENSTER! I'll pass your compliment on to the poor artist who has to live with me, bless his heart. :)

Okay, JOETTA, I'm gonna trust you on this, girlfriend, so don't disappoint me. And tell Abby that by waiting a few more years to read books 2 & 3, she will have a whole bunch of books to read, one right after another, which when you get involved with this passionate family, is a REALLY good thing! Give her a hug for me (and Kelsey too) and tell them both I am SO excited to finally meet them ... AND you!

MELISSA!!! Girl, I'm just glad you made it! And did you sign up for the Revell blog tour, I hope??? If not, PLEASE let me know, and I will give your name to Revell to try and get you on the list, okay? Thanks SO much for stopping in, my friend.


Walt M said...

That kind of passion is definitely missing from what I'm writing.

One of my favorite sermons involves a different kind of passion. It started like this.

In the middle of his sermon, a priest notices that one if his parishioners looks ready to break into tears. He focuses on the sermon, but kept on glancing back at the man. After the sermon was over, the priest stopped the man in the vestibule and pulled him aside into a little office. "Is something wrong, my son?"

The man nodded. "Yes."

"Well, what is it? You can tell me."

The man buried his face in his hands and began sobbing. "Father, Notre Dame lost the opener.?"

And, fpor those of you are wondering, the point of the sermon was that we should bring the same zeal to the Gospel on Sunday that we bring to field on Saturday.


KC Frantzen said...

Whooo hooo!

Love it - and this made me LOL: "She knew her words hit their mark when a red blotch crawled up the back of his neck like a rash gone awry."

Fans are whirling - sign me up: may at maythek9spy dot com

I'm sooo late to the party today. Will read comments in a few.

Ann Lee Miller said...

I'm DYING to read this book!

Julie Lessman said...

WALT SAID: "That kind of passion is definitely missing from what I'm writing."

You know, Walt, somehow I doubt that ... We all have passion, especially if we're writers. Some of us just flaunt it a little more than the rest. :)

Also: "We should bring the same zeal to the Gospel on Sunday that we bring to the field on Saturday." Grin ... preach it, brother!! :)

K.C. ... Thanks, sweetie! and "Fans are whirling"??? Uh, yeah ... all six of them!! :) Thanks for being one of them, my friend, and good luck in the contest!

ANN!!! It's great to see you here, girl, and THANK YOU for "dying" to read this book!! I'm dying to read yours, too, so I'm saying one RIGHT NOW that these publishers get a clue ... :) Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Are you going to ACFW, by chance?


Jennifer said...


I cannot wait to read this next series! I loved the first three books in the O'Connor series!!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey,thanks, JENNIFER -- MUCH appreciated, both your sweet comment and taking the time to swing by. Have a great day and good luck in the contest. The winner will be announced in the Weekend Edition.


Anna W. said...

Wow, great scene! I really enjoyed your first series... I can't wait to get started on this one! :)

Julie Lessman said...

Thanks SO much, Anna, and I can't wait for you to get started on this one, either! :) My publisher is getting ready to ship Undaunted to the bookstores as we speak, so I am REALLLLLY excited! Thanks for dropping by and good luck in the contest.


Kelly Freestone said...

Ohhhhhh....sounds like a good one!

I love the aspect you take on your passion.

Thanks so much for posting the excerpt!

I've wanted to write about passion for a married couple, but it feels so taboo!

I'm looking forward to reading your other posts on here as well.

Don't know if the deadline is out, but here's my entry anyway. :)

Thanks again, and I'm looking forward to eating some of those sweets!

Julie Lessman said...

KELLY, welcome!! And no, the deadline is not over. I'm not drawing a name until tomorrow, so you are in luck! Now let's hope your luck holds and I pick your name, okay? :)

Regarding your desire to write about passion for a married couple, I write for Revell, and they have allowed me great leeway in writing passionate scenes, not only between the single hero and heroine, but in the secondary love story between the mom and dad, so things are changing!

and I don't know if you have ever read my books, but my "Daughters of Boston" series has LOTS of romantic scenes between both married and unmarried couples, so you may want to check it out as a gauge of what is being allowed in the market today. Mind you, my stuff is some of the "edgiest" romance out there in the CBA today, but at least it will give you a good idea of what is allowed that wasn't allowed even just a few years ago. If you do decide to read one of my books, I strongly recommend book 1 of the series, A Passion Most Pure, as this is a series best read in order due to a number of big surprises.

Thanks for coming by, Kelly, and for leaving a comment.


Missy Tippens said...

I'm a day late but had to stop in to read Julie's post! Jules, fantastic as usual!

And that excerpt... whew! I'm fanning myself. :)

I can't wait for this book!!

Julie Lessman said...

MISSY!! As long as you're not a dollar short, we're okay, sweetie. I'm just glad you dropped by, and thanks for the kind words because trust me, I keep a fan handy while I'm writing this stuff too! :)


Moonine Sue Watson said...

I've enjoyed the other books so much. I can't wait to read this one. Your scene certainly was an excellent example of how much power there is in a kiss. The art of kissing has been lost in the secular world. I'm a Gone With the Wind fan also. I'd love to win your contest.

Julie Lessman said...

MOONINE SUE ... Oh, honey, you already have a leg up being a Gone With the Wind fan as far as I am concerned!! Did you love Scarlett as much as I did?? And if so, you MUST have liked Charity more than most people did, I hope??

And you're right -- the art of kissing has gone astray in most of the secular romance and movies because the world's amorality gets in the way.

Anyway, thank you SO much for coming by and leaving a comment. I wish you the best in the contest.


Kelly Freestone said...

Thanks, Julie!

Okay, A Passion Most Pure.

Writing it down right now...

Julie Lessman said...

KELLY!!! No need to write it down, sweetie, you WON it, girl, right here on Seekerville. SUPER CONGRATS!!


Angie said...

I am soooo looking forward to Hope Undaunted that I put a countdown timer on my blog to count down the days until the book is released! I love Julie's books. I hate waiting on the next books in her series but c'est la vie. Makes the dish more savory once you do get to take a bite of it...yummm...can't wait! Take a looksy at angielippard[at]blogspot[dot]com and tell me what you think. Obsessed much? ~ Angie

Julie Lessman said...

ANGIE!!! I said it before, and I'll say it again -- you are TOO CUTE!!!

Thanks SO much for your enthusiasm and support, girl!!

Major hugs,

barbjan10 said...

Hi Julie, I'm just finding you all over the place! I'm glad because that gives me more chances to get one of your books! I just know that I'm going to learn a lot from you and about you in any of your books. Did I tell you that I'm about to embark on my own writing career? Well, I'm going to write...but God will decide if it'll be a career or not. I have so much to learn and I appreciate your enthusiasm for passion and your love for life! Thanks for the chance to win.

Love in Christ,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

barbjan10 said...

Julie, your stuff is hot, hot, hot! I think I'll need one of those old funeral parlor hand fans that we used to get in church on hot summer days before air conditioning. Well, I do hope I win a copy of something you wrote. Everyone has such great things to say about you and your writing. You're very blessed!

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Julie Lessman said...

BARB!!! SOOO good to see you here, my friend!! And, uh, yeah ... my stuff is "hot, hot, hot" by Christian market standards, but really nothing more than kisses, truly. And ALL done within God's precepts! I actually wrote a blog on why I write the way I do, so if you are interested, take a look when you get the chance. The link is:

Life on the Edge

And good for you for embarking upon a writing career!! Seekerville is a GREAT place to learn a lot about writing and getting published! And I have a list of things I did on the road to publication, which I will include here for you see. Hope this motivates you to start that journey to publication that God could very well be calling you to!


1.) Join ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers at ACFW), FHL (Faith, Hope & Love at FHL) and RWA (Romance Writers of America at RWA), both to get connected with other like-minded writers and to learn a lot about your craft.
2.) Take a fiction-writing class or attend a writing seminar or conference.
3.) Join a critique group (you can do that through ACFW).
4.) Purchase and study writing books such as Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King or Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas, AND invest in a great thesaurus such as The Synonym Finder by Rodale Press (my writer’s bible!!).
5.) Enter contests for invaluable feedback, growth, confidence, networking opportunities and to get your name out there.
6.) Frequent websites/blogs that deal with writing, such as The Seekers (, a group blog that I belong to whose theme is “On the road to publication. Writing, contests, publication and everything in between.”
5.) Go for an agent first, publisher second.
6.) Then pray your heart out and put it in God’s hands.

Faith Oygard said...

Can't wait to read the whole book!
I hope the library gets it soon! (I maxxed out my book budget buying your other 3 books). Also very excited for "A Heart Revealed." When is that coming out?
Just keep writing your passionate love stories. I devour each one!


Julie Lessman said...

FAITH!!! Just now saw your comment, so I'm sorry I didn't respond. Thanks for buying my other three books, girl, but you need to try and win the next one. I have tons of giveaways going on into October, so please check out my website calendar, okay?

And A Heart Revealed won't be out till September 2011, but my husband and crit partner say it's my best yet, so hopefully it will be worth it!! :)


Molly said...


I love your articles here at Seekerville! I just read some of them for the first time! I can't believe I haven't been a fan until now!! AGH! WHAT is wrong with me?! You're work is FABULOUS!


misskallie2000 said...

Ok, I knew I had read this post and kept reading until I decided to see if I had already left comment. I had not so slap my hand for not commenting. lol

I love your books Julie and have them on my wish list. Thanks for writing great Christian romance for us who don't like to skip or skim while reading.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

barbjan10 said...

Hi Julie, Gosh, talking about passion for romance and passion for food, two of my favorites. How you can write, girl!! Thank you for allowing me the opportunity several months ago to win "A Love Undaunted" in a giveaway. I just found out about the First Five Pages Critique and would enjoy being a part of it. If I could write like you, I know I'd write a dandy story and get it published.

Your words about passion make me think of chocolate. Woo hoo, just recalled the deep chocolate volcano covered in chocolate lava flowing over the entire volcano and topped with vanilla ice cream. I declare...that's passion and scrumptious. Oh mouth is watering. I'm almost shivering with delight.

I'm not sure I'm in the right contest here. You have many wonderful friends saying passionate and beautiful comments about you, Julie. By the way, you don't need to include me in the book drawing....someone else needs the blessing of reading this book. I've already been blessed royally by your talent.

I love the look on your face in your picture. I'm going back to your blog page with the tips on writing and scriptures...and copy them into my Microsoft Office OneNote an use them often. Thanks for your help.

Luv ya Lots,

barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com