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Friday, August 29, 2008

CFBA Blog Tour - Julie Lessman and A Passion Redeemed

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Passion Redeemed
Bethany House - September 1, 2008)
by Julie Lessman


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JULIE LESSMAN is an author who has already garnered writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She is a commercial writer for Maritz Travel, a published poet and a Golden Heart Finalist. Julie has a heart to write "Mainstream Inspirational," reaching the 21st-century woman with compelling love stories laced with God's precepts. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law. A Passion Most Pure was her first novel, and it is part of the Daughters of Boston series, which also includes A Passion Redeemed and A Passion Denied. You can visit her online at her web site: http://www.julielessman.com/.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Depth of beauty...shallow of heart, Charity O'Connor is a woman who gets what she wants. No man can resist her charms. Or so she thought. Charity O'Connor's stunning beauty and flirtatious ways have always succeeded with men. Until Mitch Dennehy, that is.

Brilliant and dangerously handsome, Mitch is a no-nonsense newspaperman who wants nothing to do with her. Although the sparks are there, he refuses to fan the coals of a potential relationship with a woman who ruined his life. Charity burned him once, destroying his engagement to the only woman he ever truly loved. He won't play with matches again. But Charity has a plan to turn up the heat, hoping to ignite the heart of the man she loves. And she always gets what she wants—one way or another.

Or does she? Will her best-laid schemes win his love? Or will her seductive ways drive him away forever? Book 2 in the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Redeemed will captivate your heart and stir your soul with a story of faith and redemption rising from the ashes of temptation, desire, and shame.

Praise for the first book in the series:

"Full of romance, humor, rivalry, and betrayal, A Passion Most Pure will captivate readers from the first page." --Historical Novels Review "Superb! Incredible!

"I loved Julie Lessman's A Passion Most Pure from the second I picked it up until the very last moment I stopped reading." --Armchair Interviews

"I devoured this book and loved every single page...This is a thick, juicy read, and one I would pick up again in a heartbeat." --christianreviewofbooks.com

If you would like to read an excerpt, go HERE.

Buy your copy of A Passion Redeemed Today!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

Actually, the inspiration for this novel came from A Passion Most Pure, because the plot for A Passion Redeemed just seemed a natural conclusion to Charity's actions in the first book. And since I am basically a seat-of-the-pants writer, I literally followed the trail that Charity's personality laid out for me, expanding the plot as I went along. Kind of like Hansel and Gretel following a trail of breadcrumbs (very symbolic if you have read the book!) to find my way home. :)

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

Tons. I write by feeling, so there are plenty of my feelings in these books—such as Charity's seductive nature, something that she and I had in common before I became a Christian. And the quirky, manipulative things she would do, like putting breadcrumbs in her eyes to make herself cry on demand. And even her propensity to throw up at the drop of a hat—this was something I used to wish I could do as a child so I could stay home from school. Also, Faith's character in the book as the sister who always resorts to prayer first, that is a habit of mine as well. And as far as Mitch's tendency to groan when God tells him to forgive or pray ("That's your pat answer to everything, isn't it?" he groused)—well, that's vintage Julie Lessman, I'm afraid! :)

As far as traits that belong to the characters alone, Faith is a lot calmer than I am (just ask my husband on the mornings I have to post my Seeker blog!), and Charity is way more sarcastic than I am today. Mitch is a lot more grouchy than me (except on Seeker post mornings) and also loses his temper a lot more quickly than I do these days. But all in all, they are all pretty much characters with my blood in their veins. :)

3. If your heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would she be and why?

Grin. Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy—because Charity definitely needs therapy!

4. What themes exist in A Passion Redeemed that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

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

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

Hard as it may be to believe, there were actually NO difficult parts in either A Passion Most Pure or A Passion Redeemed—both were sheer pleasure to write, especially Charity's story (almost 500 pages), which I literally pounded out in two months while working part-time.

Now the third book in the series, A Passion Denied? Absolute murder to write, primarily because at the time I was reading a book by an author that I absolutely LOVE and felt so inadequate next to her. I would sit at my keyboard and want to puke on what I'd written—it was that bad. So I literally "fasted" that author for six months and prayed my heart out for God to help me write the book He wanted me to write. And He did! I'm happy to say that most of my family and friends who have read A Passion Denied like it best of all three books in the series, so that is HUGE relief!

My favorite parts to write? Are you kidding?? The love scenes, of course! And since I have a real fondness for LOTS of romantic tension, when I write those scenes, my fingers literally fly and the keyboard is pretty near smoking! :)

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

Book 3 in The Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Denied, is the story of Faith and Charity's little sister, Beth (who changes her name to Lizzie during The Roaring Twenties), a shy bookworm who dreams of a fairy-tale romance. It unfolds a man's dark past and a young girl's shattered dreams … and the God who redeems it all.

Here's the blurb from my Web site:

Elizabeth O'Connor is the little sister John always longed for. With a fire for God in his belly, he has been her spiritual mentor since she was thirteen, sharing her love of literature and her thirst for God. But when his gangly protégé blossoms into a beautiful young woman bent on loving him, he refuses to act on the attraction he feels. His past won't let him go there. Unfortunately, "Lizzie" won't let him go anywhere else … until his dark and shocking secrets push her away.

Thanks, Amber, for allowing me this time to connect with you and your readership.

I LOVE to hear from readers, so anyone who would like to contact me can do so through my Web site at http://www.julielessman.com/, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter, in which I feature book giveaways. Finally, I invite your readers to visit The Seekers, a group blog of which I am a part that talks about "The road to publication. Writing, contests, publication and everything in between." You can find it at http://seekerville.blogspot.com/.

Thanks again, Amber, and God bless!

* * * * *

Thank you, Julie, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of A Passion Redeemed.

If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post. Make sure you leave your email address (name [at] domainname [dot] com/net) or that there's a way to contact you. Otherwise, you won't be entered. Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.

* * * * *

25 comments:

windycindy said...

I love Julie's books! I especially like the time period and setting of this series. Please enter me in your terrific drawing. Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Julie Lessman said...

Windycindy -- thank you SO much for your support!! If you like this time period, just wait till the 2nd series -- The Roaring Twenties and Great Depression -- era of dance marathons, speakeasies, G-Men, Bonnie & Clyde and LOTS of fun things!!

Hugs,
Julie

DBarker said...

I agree with WindyCindy, I love the time period and I am definitely looking forward to Julie's upcoming books. Thanks for the interview.

danelli04[at] hotmail[dot] com

Carolynn W. said...

Thanks for the great interview! I can't wait to read Julie's book...seems like I've been waiting forever! Thanks for the chance to win:)
carolynnwald[at]hotmail[dot]com

Maureen said...

I really enjoy a character who has made bad choices show that he/she is really a good person and can learn from his/her mistakes.

Julie Lessman said...

Boy, Dbarker and Carolynn -- you girls are making the rounds -- THANK YOU!! Always good to see you, and it definitely makes "points" with me!!

Maureen, "bad choices" is Charity's middle name in this book, so you should thoroughly enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by.

Hugs,
Julie

Alycia said...

Beth sounds a lot like me. I'm a shy bookworm also. It should be a lot of fun to read about her. I really like what you said about relationships, Ms. Lessman. I have seen a lot of people who just move into together rather than get married. It seems like people just think it's better than getting married these days even though it's not.

Tammy Doherty said...

I confess - skimmed the blurb on book 3 because I want to focus on book 2! I've got it on my Christmas list but would love to win a copy sooner. My e-mail address is tdinishowen[at]aol[dot]com

I really, really liked book 1. Being married to an Irish Roman Catholic from Boston may be influencing my opinion!!

Tammy Doherty said...

Oh, yeah, I just checked out your website, Julie, and saw the book signing at Mall of America. I won't be able to go to the conference this year (heavy sigh). Any chance you'll be doing a book signing in Massachusetts sometime? Maybe Boston!?

Tammy

haras w said...

would love the chance to win this book. please enter my name in the draw.
thanks,
sarahwoll at hotmail dot com

Pamela J said...

What a fun question, Amber, about the ice cream. I'm not up on the names of ice creams so my answer would have been more boring. What a fun answer, Julie! I suppose if Charity were to look back at some of us, she might think we resembled the same flavor too. Please enter me in your drawing, Amber, and thanks for a fun interview.
Pam Williams
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Julie Lessman said...

Well, Alycia, if you are a shy bookworm like Beth in book 3, A Passion Denied, then you will REALLY love this book! Beth transforms slowly from a shy, little girl into a woman who is dead set on the man she wants and aims to get him (with the help of her sisters Charity and Faith), but her fairy-tale notions of romance definitely get her in trouble ...

And thanks, Alycia, for your comment about relationships. Girls moving in with their boyfriends is a real sad thing for me. If they had any idea just how much better their lives would be doing things God's way, they would be blown away!

TAMMY!!! So nice to see you here -- thanks so much for your kind comment, but yeah, I do think being married to a hunky Irish-Catholic Bostonian could possibly have impaired your judgment, you lucky girl, you! :) And, sigh, Tammy, I am sorry to hear you will miss the Mall of America book signing. and unfortunately, as much as I would LOVE to go to Boston, I don't have any other book signings scheduled in the near future.

Sarah, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

Pammy, your comment reminds me of another ice cream flavor for Charity -- Rocky Road, because the girl definitely has an uphill climb in A Passion Redeemed!

Hugs,
Julie

Liv said...

I don't know if I applied here - I thought I had. Julie's books is such a true blessing, so I really hope to get part two so i can continue to be blessed and share Julie's AWESOME work with everyone! :)

christianlit(at)hotmail(dot)com.

ChristyJan said...

I enjoyed reading this interview with Julie.

A PASSION REDEEMED sounds like a great read ~ please enter me to win a copy.

hawkes@citlink.net

Amy said...

Hey Liv, you sweetheart you -- thanks for your kind comment and support!

Christyjan -- Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Good luck!

Hugs,
Julie

Cherie J said...

I loved Julie's first book of the series and I am looking forward to reading Charity's story. Thanks for a wonderful spotlight Tiff!

rebecca191 said...

Sounds like a fun historical romance, thanks for the interview!

rebecca191@aol.com

Paige said...

Julies first book - A Passion Most Pure was one of the best books I've read. I can't wait for the next one!

soccerluvr@charter.net

Julie Lessman said...

Hey Cherie, thanks so much for your sweet comment -- I hope you like book 2 as well as book 1 (or better, dare I hope???). :)

Rebecca191 -- my books are definitely historical romance, with the accent mark on "romance"!! :)

Holy cow, Paige, what a compliment!! That one will keep me floating for days ... :) Thank you!!

Hugs,
Julie

biffyjn said...

I loved your other book so much and I can't wait to read this other one. Please enter me in the contest.
biffyinvent(at)hotmail(dot)com

Julie Lessman said...

Wow, biffyjn, thank you SO much!! Hope you enjoy book 2 as well -- it's actually my favorite of all three books in the series, although most of my writer friends and family like book 3 the best. :) Thanks for stopping by.

Hugs,
Julie

Keli Gwyn said...

Julie,

Both of your books are on my wish list. They sound super.

keligwyn[at]earthlink[dot]net

Melissa said...

I would love to win a copy of this book!

parcelhome at comcast dot net

Julie Lessman said...

Gosh, Keli, I love being on people's wish lists, but love it even more when those people win a copy! Good luck!

Melissa, thanks for dropping by! Hope I get to eventually send you a book!

Hugs,
Julie

Tiff (Amber Miller) Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing and that is:

PAIGE!

Congratulations! I've emailed you for your mailing information so Julie can send out your book.

Lots of other winners selected today. Check out all interviews from August 13th through August 29th to see if you've won.

As always, thanks for your continued support.