Interview with Julie Lessman & GIVEAWAY

Interview with Julie Lessman & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted Word

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Award-winning author of “The Daughters of Boston” and “Winds of Change” series, Julie Lessman was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards. She has also garnered 17 RWA awards and made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. Her book A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers’ Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner. You can contact Julie and read excerpts from her books at www.julielessman.com.

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Savanna:   Welcome back to the blog, Julie. I’m so happy to have you here! Congratulations on your newest release, Isle of Hope.

Interview with Julie Lessman & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordWhat was one of your favorite scenes to write in this book?

Julie:   I have to admit, as a bona fide Baby Boomer, my favorite scenes in this book revolve around the older and secondary hero and heroine, Ben and Tess, because she is adorably perky and he’s such a hermit and grump. So my favorite scene involves them after Ben first discovers his attraction to Tess and kisses her for the first time. Here’s a clip:

   Body trembling, she snatched a dishtowel from a stainless steel rack, head bowed and eyes closed to compose herself while she dried her hands at the sink, berating herself for agreeing to come over. “Talk about a lamb in the lion’s lair,” she muttered, spinning around with a squeal when something tickled her neck. Her body flashed hot when she realized it was Ben’s lips.
    “Don’t go,” he whispered, caging her in, the smoky look in his eyes all but welding her to the spot. “I might be willing to negotiate, Tess …”
    Her heart battered her ribs. “Yeah? Well, I’m no—” The gentle brush of his mouth against hers stalled the words in her throat, robbing her of both reason and resistance when his kiss intensified. Liquid fire coursed through her body at the rush of feelings she hadn’t felt in such a very long time. She wanted to push him away, but her insides melted into submission, rendering all resolve as limp as her body.
    “So help me, I want you, Tess,” he said, his voice hoarse as he cupped her face in his hands. Hungry lips lured her eyelids closed when they locked a moan deep in her throat. Her breathing was as ragged as his when he moved in close, melding his body to hers.
    “No!” She shoved him back, every muscle quivering with a painful mix of longing and fear. “I can’t do this, Ben—and if you persist, our friendship is over.”
    He paused, chest heaving and eyes dark with desire. “You don’t mean that.”
    “I do,” she said with a thrust of her chin, “as much as I care for you, we can never be anything more than good friends and neighbors, not with the issue of faith in the way.”

Savanna:  I can’t wait to pick up this book soon!! 😉

Why do you love this story?

Julie:  Because writing it was therapeutic for me since it’s loosely based on my estranged relationship with my own father, so much of that part of the story is also my story. And to be honest, this is the most spiritual book I have ever written, so much so that even my publisher asked me to tone the spirituality down, which I felt I couldn’t do. You see, this book is the culmination of my 8-month spiritual sabbatical, so I really feel like it’s exactly how God wanted me to write it, which is why I opted to publish it myself.

Savanna:  That is incredible, Julie. Talk about a story from your heart! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Name something fun you did this summer. 🙂

Interview with Julie Lessman & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordJulie:  Oooooo … flew to Spokane to visit my son, DIL, and grandkids and took lots of walks to playgrounds and a neighborhood ice cream shop in one of the prettiest fall-color locales I’ve ever seen. Oh, and also moved to a townhome on a lake, which is sheer heaven!

Savanna:  And that lake isn’t too far from me! We must plan a lunch date soon! 😉

Do you remember the first time meeting one of your favorite authors? Who was it and can you tell us a bit about it?

Julie:  Oh, yes!! The amazing Liz Curtis Higgs has always been one of my top-top favorite authors, so when I ran into her in a Starbucks at the ACFW Conference a while back, I’m afraid I babbled like an idiot (uh … or at least more than usual … ;)). Poor, sweet, gracious Liz — she just smiled and nodded and let me ramble on.

Savanna:  I think I felt and acted about the same when I first met you! That is still one of my favorite moments of last year’s conference. 😉

As a contributor to Seekerville, you’ve helped guide and encourage a lot of other writers. Can you share with us a piece of writing advice that has impacted your work?

Julie:  Very interesting question! As a matter of fact, I can, but it’s not craft-related, I’m afraid. It’s spiritual “advice” that I learned from my 8-month sabbatical last year, the effect of which had a great impact on how I wrote Isle of Hope.

You know, Savanna, I’m almost embarrassed to say this, but then if embarrassment were a deterrent to me, I’d be a deaf mute, so here goes.

I have been a Christian for over forty years—going from a 23-year-old angry agnostic who once advocated burning Bibles in hotel rooms … to a young woman on fire for God, as told in one of my Journal Jot blogs here. Each and every one of those forty-plus years, God has been my All-in-All, the Love of my Life, and the Lamp unto my feet. And yet, though I knew in my head His will IS the path to our highest pleasure (and even wrote about it in one of my books and in this Journal Jot here), I’m ashamed to say I really didn’t know-know it in my heart until now—after this sabbatical.

Interview with Julie Lessman & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordBecause that’s when I heard the still, small voice as follows, the bulk of which can be found in one of my Journal Jot blogs here:

“Julie, step away from the wheel.”
Excuse me?
“Lay it down,” the gentle thought came, brimming with love.
I swallowed hard. “Uh … lay what down, Lord?”
A quiet pause, as if God were waiting for me to finally listen. “Your hopes and dreams. Your need for control. Your need for approval. Put it on the altar, Julie, and step away from the wheel.”
Gulp. “But you don’t understand, Lord—I have books to promote, emails to answer, comments to write.”
“Give me the keys, Julie—now.”
I blink, visions of my daughter wresting the car keys from my hands when I turn 65, like she always threatened to do. My hands begin to sweat as I stall. “I don’t understand, Lord—what keys?”
“The keys to your career. Lay them on the altar like Abraham did and walk away.”
A shiver travels my spine as “The Abraham Factor” looms large in my mind, something my hero Bram Hughes introduces to Logan McClare in book 3 of The Heart of San Francisco series, Surprised by Love. And something I knew God was calling me to do the minute I penned that scene as follows:

Interview with Julie Lessman & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted Word   Bram propped elbows on the arm of the chair and steepled his hands, staring out the window over Logan’s shoulder, the gloom of night the perfect backdrop for the subject he broached. “You see, I’ve learned the hard way that when it comes to the most precious things in my life, the safest place to keep them is in God’s hands. To trust Him to do for them and me the very best thing.” His eyes met Logan’s. “No matter what that is.” He expelled a wavering sigh. “Because if I love someone—really and truly love them—I’ll always want to give them God’s best, not mine.”
    Rising from his chair, he nudged Logan’s cup of coffee toward him before he picked up his own. “Abraham from the Old Testament loved his son fiercely, waited decades for God to honor His promise to give him a son in the first place. And then one day, God—Abraham’s ‘friend’, mind you—asks him to lay that precious son on the altar and give him up. Sacrifice him—just like that. And you know what?” Against his will, tears glazed Bram’s eyes as his gaze locked with Logan’s. “That man didn’t balk or miss a beat. Nope. Because Abraham’s trust in God was so strong, he actually told his traveling companions to ‘abide ye here and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship, and come again to you.’”
    Bram shook his head, overwhelmed as always at the strength of Abraham’s faith, the certainty that somehow, someway, God’s best would prevail. “And you and I both know what happened, Logan. God stayed the knife in Abraham’s hand, giving him his son back because of his remarkable trust.”
    “Trust,” Logan whispered in a low drone, “the very reason I’ve lost Cait.”
    Bram nodded, his tone quiet but sure. “And the very thing that will help you find God in a way you’ve never experienced Him before. He wants you to trust Him, Logan, to put your love for Mrs. McClare on the altar where God can do with it what He wills for your good and hers. And whether He stays your hand or not, your sacrifice of obedience will be rewarded with more peace and joy and hope than you ever believed possible.”
    Logan’s brows dipped, the deep wedges indicating his skepticism. “And you really believe that?”
    Bram smiled, remembering his own lack of faith before God had proven it true. “I do.”

And you know what? So do I. Deeply. Which is why I opted to take my hands off the wheel and give the keys to God for almost a solid year. A God Who not only knows the direction to my ultimate peace and joy, but can steer me there while I relax in the back seat, enjoying the ride. Driving Miss Julie, if you will. And that, my friend, is my advice to any Christian author who asks: Take your hands off the wheel and let Him “drive” you too!

Savanna:  That is wonderful advice, thank you, friend. I’m so glad to hear how God has blessed and taught you through the last year. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us? Any upcoming projects?

Julie:  Thank you, Savanna, for hosting me on your blog—it’s been a pleasure!

Interview with Julie Lessman & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordI love to hear from reader friends, so if they like, they can contact me and read excerpts from my books at www.julielessman.com, or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest or by signing up for my newsletter. I also have a blog called “Journal Jots,” which is a very laid-back journal to my reader friends, or readers can check out my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books on the “Excerpts” tab of my website. In addition, I can be found daily at The Seekers, a group blog of 13 published authors that inspires, encourages, teaches, and informs aspiring writers on the road to publication and beyond. Although Seekerville has been listed on Writers Digest 2013 and 2014 “Best 101 Websites for Writers,” it is also a blog devoted to readers as well.

Finally, I have the following sales/contests currently going on:

AWARD-WINNING IRISH LOVE STORY ON SALE! The eBook for my Irish love story, A Light in the Window—262 five-star reviews on Amazon and winner of three awards—is on sale for only $.99, so I invite you to take a peek at the excellent video my artist hubby did for A Light in the Window, starring my daughter. ALITW Video.

o’connor christmas novellas! ‘Tis the season, and I’m ready for it with two novellas that are part of the Hope for the Holiday’s Historical Collection and the Home for Christmas Historical Romance Collection, both of which include novellas from other award-winning authors for only $2.99 per collection, so I hope your readers check them out.

Calling All Writers!! My writer’s workbook entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets is on eSale for $2.99

CONTEST TO HAVE A CHARACTER NAMED AFTER YOU IN MY NEXT BOOK, A SIGNED COPY, AND CHOICE OF ONE OF MY OTHER BOOKS. Sound good to you? If so, just head on over to the CONTEST tab of my website and check it out.

Interview with Julie Lessman & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted Word

Savanna:  You heard her, everyone. Be sure to check out these awesome links and enter below to win one of her books!

GIVEAWAY!!

Julie has graciously offered to give away one winner’s choice of any of her books, including Isle of Hope. How fun is that? Enter below and the prize could be yours! ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering! Contest is open to everyone, though international winners will receive an ebook only, and the drawing ends November 10, 2015.  The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!

Posted in Author Interviews, Giveaways
106 comments on “Interview with Julie Lessman & GIVEAWAY
  1. Bonnie Roof says:

    I always love coming to your blog, Savanna – and even more when one of the very most inspiring authors, and personal friends, I’ve ever known is being interviewed.

    It’s interesting that one of Julie’s fave authors, Liz Curtis Higgs, is indirectly responsible for my being introduced to Julie’s writing. I’ve known Liz for 5+ years, and have attended quite a few of her signings, speaking engagements, product tapings, etc.. When I find a fave author, I read/acquire everything they’ve written. Such was the case with Liz – I had read just about every single thing she had written, even locating most of her older books no longer in print, when I started her fiction books. Until then, I had read primarily bios, auto-bios, bible studies, and inspirational self-improvement books.

    Little did I know what I had been missing!! It was then I began to search out other Christian Fiction authors, Julie’s books were the first I read after reading Liz’s. I fell in love with her online charisma, love for her readers, and more importantly- her love and witness for God, before I even read any of her books. Her spiritual testimony, life experiences, and passion are very similar to mine. And yes, I have every book and novella she’s written – including her writing manual, lol!!

    Speaking of love – you will love ‘Isle of Hope’. As much as I absolutely loved, and was inspired by, each of Julie’s historical novels – ‘Isle of Hope’ has “gob-smacked’ my heart and soul like a “ton of bricks”. It impacted me so much both times I read it, I become emotional when talking about it. It appears to be affecting other readers the same way, judging from reviews coming in. Such an anointed novel of hope, forgiveness, and God’s grace and love – He pumped an extra huge dose of inspiration into ‘Isle of Hope’ via Julie and her 8-month sabbatical.

    • Annie JC says:

      Bonnie, you are a dear! Honestly, you are so funny, I always have a smile on after reading your comments. =) Love it!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Bonnie, there just aren’t many people like you, my friend. You have such a sweet heart and your words always encourage! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and show your support.

      I loved the stories you shared about Liz and Julie. Last year at the ACFW conference I talked briefly with an older gentleman, another writer, who was so sweet and encouraging. When I got home after conference I read his business card and realized that he was Liz’s husband. Such a nice guy! I hope someday to meet her as well. 🙂

      • Bonnie Roof says:

        Thank you so much, Savanna!! I love sharing God’s love through the promoting an awareness of Christian Fiction and the inspiration it brings. I’m patiently waiting for the day I can share your work too, Savanna.

        I wasn’t aware Bill Higgs was a writer, also – thank you for mentioning that, will have to ask Liz about any books he may have published. So glad you got to meet him – he is such a wonderful Christian man, always quietly in the background behind his wife, wherever she goes – and helping in any way he can. He and Liz were both in radio broadcasting here in Louisville, for years before she started writing and speaking full-time. He is brilliant, I think he has a degree in Greek theology (aids her in writing accuracy in that area) and may even be an ordained minister (or was at one time). She has told the story of meeting him, for the first time, at a wedding, relating some biblical info to him, and finding out he was more biblically educated than she was. I hope you have the pleasure of meeting Liz and attending her speaking engagements on writing, her books, and one of her bible studies. She is such a “hoot” – you will laugh until you cry, both from joy and inspiration. She has an amazing testimony – similar to Julie’s. Listening to it at a Women’s Conference is what drew me to Liz’s books.

        • SAVANNA SAID: “Hi Bonnie, there just aren’t many people like you, my friend.”

          OH, AMEN TO THAT, Savanna — Bonnie is one of a kind and one in a million. We are both blessed to be her friend.

          And, WOW, that is such a cool story about you talking to Liz Curtis Higg’s hubby — WOW!!

          HUGS,
          Julie

        • Savanna Savanna says:

          Thank you, Bonnie! It really was a neat moment. I actually visited with him during the meeting for the first-time-attendees to the conference. He’s one I still remember talking with. He had such a warm and welcoming spirit. I’m not surprised to hear Liz has the same. She sounds like a special lady.

          I didn’t realize you lived in Louisville. I was just there over a month ago for the weekend. 🙁 Next time I’m in the area, we need to meet up! 😉

          • Bonnie Roof says:

            I’m “bummed” I didn’t know you had been in Louisville, Savanna – would love to meet, & chat with you. Be sure to give me advance notice if you’re ever in the area again, or even a couple of hours away – I don’t mind driving to you. Would love to have tea (or whatever your preference is) with you!!

          • Savanna Savanna says:

            Me too, Bonnie! I’ll definitely let you know next time. I won’t forget! 😉 Sounds like fun!!

  2. LOL, Bonnie … you just gave me ANOTHER great line to promo IOH with!! “‘Isle of Hope’ has “gob-smacked’ my heart and soul like a “ton of bricks” … That made me grin ear-to-ear, my friend, but then your bottomless encouragement always does!

    Thanks for coming by, my sweet friend — you are a true blessing!!

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

  3. Annie JC says:

    Savanna, great interview. I loved every question you asked. Like Bonnie, I always enjoy checking in on your blog. Such great reviews and stories. It’s one of the places I go to get to know new authors. Thanks!

    Julie, wow! Thank you for sharing this, especially about letting Him drive. I think that applies not only to writers, but in life in general. There are many times my “control-freak” nature takes on and plan everything, but letting Him be the one to take over is as sound as it can be. Thanks!

    Love Isle of Hope too! It’s wonderful!

    • You are MORE than welcome, Annie — no sense in keeping to myself what I learned during my sabbatical — it was too life-changing for me not to share, my friend! Besides, I don’t want it to take anyone else till they’re 65 to figure it out. 🙂

      Hugs!!
      Julie

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Annie! That means a lot to me, thank you for sharing. I always hope others have as much fun visiting here as I have sharing the posts. 😉

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed Julie’s book too. I’m not surprised. She’s one of my favorites!! 😉

  4. Joyce - Heartwings says:

    I am looking forward to reading “Isle of Hope” and enjoyed your interview very much. j

  5. Lientjie Human says:

    Savanah, thanks for the interview and giveaway Julie Lessman’s new book sounds amazing!

  6. Pam K. says:

    Thanks for this interview with Julie. I always think it is fun to learn some of the behind the scenes info about books. I’ve read all of Julie’s novels (except not this one, yet) and a couple of the novellas. It’s always exciting when she has a new book out. Thanks for the chance to win; I’d love to win Isle of Hope.

    • PAM, I don’t know if I have ever come right out and thanked you, not only for reading my books, but being such a loyal supporter and dear reader friend, so let me just say it now — THANK YOU!! 🙂

      And I would LOVE to send you a copy, so finger’s crossed.

      Hugs and more hugs,
      Julie

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      I’m the same way, Pam. I’m always watching for Julie’s next book release to hit my shelves. 😉 We appreciate you! Have a great week.

  7. carylkane says:

    Hello Savanna and Julie! Great interview. I am so excited for the release of Isle of Hope! Julie, thank you for bringing hope to those in dark places! ((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))

  8. Lucy says:

    Thank you so much for the interview and the chance to win a book by such an awesome author. Have a blessed evening.

  9. Hey, Lucy, thank you for coming by, my friend, and GOOD LUCK in the giveaway! And you have “a blessed evening” too!

    Hugs,
    Julie

  10. Merry says:

    I would love to read this book. I love how you look Julie when you are dressed up in your Regency attire!

    • LOL, Merry, my “regency attire” is at the cleaners, but I’ll just bet you Julie Klassen has hers ready to go … 😉

      You have NO IDEA how many people confuse Julie Klassen and me up. So much so, that I actually wrote a blog about it that has a freaky cool story in it as to how we met. Here’s the link in case you want to check it out, Merry.

      JULIE LESSMAN/JULIE KLASSEN BLOG

      BUT … if you want a non-regency contemporary by a VERY passionate CDQ (caffeinated drama queen), then I’m your gal! 😉

      Hugs and good luck!
      Julie

      • Bonnie Roof says:

        I’d heard the story about the 2 Julie’s previously, but had to read Julie’s blog post about it again – it’s hilarious, you will have to read it, Merry!! You’re a “hoot”, dear Julie – love your transparency in your stories re: God’s interventions in your life, your witness and praise for Him!! Julie Klassen did a book signing at a Lifeway about 20 minutes from me (along with Sarah Ladd)- a couple of weeks ago. I had planned to go, Julie Lessman’s story intrigued me about the “other Julie”, however, wasn’t feeling up to it that day.

      • Savanna Savanna says:

        Dear Julie, you never cease to surprise me – in the best way possible! 😉 What a fun and touching story. Thanks for not shying away from being honest and sharing the wonderful end to that story. Our God really is amazing! 🙂

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Merry! So glad you could swing by. I hope you get to read Julie’s next book soon. I’m sure you’ll love it. 😉

  11. Deanne Patterson says:

    It’s always such a pleasure visiting your blog, Savanna. Julie it’s always so fun to see an interview with you. I love your continued enthusiasm towards writing, actually towards life in general. You’ve got the right ( Write ) attitude
    : ) Congrats on your new release. I know it’s a goodie !

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Thank you, Deanne, for taking the time to stop by and say hi. It’s always great to see you. And don’t worry about the link. We’re pretty laid back around here. 😉 Your entries will still count. Good luck!

      • LOL, Deanne, THANK YOU!!

        Yeah, no shortage of passion here, I’m afraid. 😉 And any “passion” for life I have comes straight from HIM, so I am blessed to be able to share my passion FOR Him through writing. 🙂

        Hugs and good luck!
        Julie

  12. Deanne Patterson says:

    I put the wrong thing in the facebook share above here is the correct one. I hope I don’t get disqualified because I did it wrong above https://www.facebook.com/deanne.patterson.31/posts/825118874264399

    thanks : )

  13. Nancy says:

    Absolutely loved this interview Savannah and Julie! So glad you let go of the wheel and obeyed Julie! Isn’t that the best and the hardest? I love how you shared your heart!

  14. Melanie Backus says:

    Great interview! I have heard wonderful things about Julie’s book and would love to read it. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  15. Heather Olsen says:

    Camping with my family was some of the fun I had this summer.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Fun, Heather! I love camping. I didn’t get to actually do much of that this summer, but I was able to do a little hiking. It’s always so refreshing to spend time outdoors, especially in the woods. 😉 Thanks for visiting us!

    • Oh,Heather, I’m with Savanna and you on that one — LOVE camping!! Only problem is, my hubby doesn’t, so I never get to go anymore. 🙁

      Thanks for coming by and good luck in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

  16. Maxie Anderson says:

    Love this blog Savanna and thanks for having one of my favorite people for an interview. I would love to win one of her books, and wouldn’t mind having my name in one of her good books. GOD bless you both sweet girls. Maxie

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Maxie! So great to have you stop by. Your words blessed my heart. Wouldn’t it be FUN to have your name in one of her books!! That would be SO cool! Good luck in the giveaway! 🙂

    • Oh, girl, “MAXIE ANDERSON” is a perfect name for one of my characters, so I’m pulling for you, girlfriend!

      Thanks for your VERY sweet comment and for just coming by.

      Hugs and good luck!
      Julie

  17. Kathryn Voss says:

    Thanks for the interview. They are always fun! And Julie is one author I “stalk” to find out what she has coming out next. Her books are some of my favorites!!!!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Haha! I don’t think you’re the only one, Kathryn. 😉 I’m sure that thrills Julie’s heart. Thanks for sharing!

    • LOL, Kate, and I am one author who does not mind being “stalked” in giveaways, so stalk away!

      But honestly, Kate, if you win I’ll have to send you another one of my books other than IOH since I just sent you an email yesterday that you won a copy. So if you did not get my email, PLEASE let me know, okay?

      Hugs!
      Julie

  18. Becky B says:

    Great interview. I loved hearing how God is working in your life, Julie, and how that in turn works in your writing.

    Congratulations on your new book.
    Becky B

  19. Sonnetta Jones says:

    Julie,

    Thank you for not toning down the message that God wanted you to reveal. As a single woman sometimes you are tempted to step out of God’s will for a spouse because you do not see anything happening on the horizon. I am grateful that God reminds us that his way is the better way.

    I will pray for your relationship with your father. Even though my father lived with us he was not there for us emotionally and I thank God that he helped me to reach a point where I could see my father through God’s eyes. I was able to be one of his caregivers for the last years of life. I would not change anything because I have an understanding about God I did not have before.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Sonnetta. I’m so glad you could stop in today. And I’m glad that Julie’s words encouraged you too. Thanks for sharing with us your heart and God’s work in you. Praying you continue to feel His presence, love, and wisdom in your life every day. Hugs! Jeremiah 29:11

    • Thank you SO much, Sonnetta, for your sweet offer of prayer for me and my dad, but you will be happy to know that God healed that relationship the year before my dad died, which is what Isle of Hope is all about — the healing of my relationship with my own father. Consequently it is the most spiritual book I have ever written, so I covet your prayers that it will reach the people God wants it to reach, okay?

      Thanks for coming by and here’s to a win@

      Hugs,
      Julie

  20. Rebecca Maney says:

    Julie writes amazing stories and I expect this one to be an in inspirational classic! Bravo for exploring new genres!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Rebecca! Thanks so much for stopping in to say hi. It always means a lot. Good luck in the drawing!

    • WOW, Rebecca, thank you SOOO much — “an inspirational classic” would be absolutely LOVELY! 😉 And if you read it, like it, and post a review with that phrase, PLEASE let me know because I would love to use it in a promo quote, okay? And also, a review enters you into my newsletter contest too, so keep that in mind, okay?

      HUGS!!
      Julie

  21. Amy M says:

    I would read the phone book if Julie Lessman wrote it. Love, love, LOVE her books. Thank you for the opportunity to win her newest one.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hahaha! True words, Amy! I’m with you there. 😉 Good luck!

    • LOL, Amy … you just made my day, girlfriend!! What an absolutely sweet thing to say and you have my word that I will never, EVER write a phonebook, although I can’t promise that some of my books won’t be that long … 😉

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK, my friend!
      Julie

  22. kim amundsen says:

    Love her books.

  23. Robin Bunting says:

    great interview. thanks for sharing!

  24. Katy says:

    Looking forward to reading your books, Julie. Thank you for sharing your heart!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      We appreciate you visiting the blog, Katy! Good luck in the giveaway too. 🙂

    • Hey, Katy, THANK YOU!

      And correct me if I’m wrong, but when you phrase it as “books” plural, does that mean you’ve never read any of my books before? Because if not, I encourage you to check out the excerpts tab of my website where I list my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from most of my books. That will give you a good idea of my writing style. Here’s that link:

      JULIE’S EXCERPTS

      Then FYI, my award-winning Irish Christmas love story, A Light in the Window, just happens to be on e-sale for only 99 cents, so I hope you check it out too. Here’s a video that my artist hubby did of it using my daughter as the model.

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Hugs and good luck!
      Julie

      • Katy says:

        Julie, I just finished Isle of Hope. I am so so glad that you self-published and did not “tone it down.” Wow. Thank you for letting God speak through your writing. He is clearly there. I have read a lot of books this year (I would not be surprised if I have read an average of 10 books a week if not more) and this novel ranks close to the very top if not at the top as far as spiritual impact (along with being an over-all well-written and compelling story). Isle of Hope and Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon are neck-and-neck for that honor. Thank you, thank you, for sharing this story with us your readers. I will be leaving a review on Amazon (when it’s not the middle of the night =])and will definitely be reading more of your books (I hadn’t read any, like you guessed, until I read the one in the Home for Christmas Collection over the weekend). If at some point you choose to publish Isle of Hope in print, I will buy it.

        • Oh, KATY … talk about “WOW”!!! Thank you SO very much for your incredible comment — it blesses me more than I can say and actually brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for confirming what I have felt in my spirit all along — that this is the book God wanted me to write. I’ve struggled so much over including the overt spiritual content because I know that it’s not overly popular today, but I felt compelled to leave it as is.

          And, WOW, WOW, WOW … even saying my name in the same sentence with Jan Karon pretty much blows me away, my friend, so THANK YOU!! Coincidentally, my other indie novel, A Light in the Window, is the same title as one Jan Karon’s books, so my book always pops up with Jan’s on Amazon during a search. 🙂

          AND also coincidentally — A Light in the Window (a historical since that’s mainly what I write) is an Irish Christmas love story that is currently on e-sale for 99 cents, so I hope you check it out. It’s actually the prequel to my Daughters of Boston series, so it’s a good place to start if you intend to read more of my books. My artist hubby actually did a video for it with my daughter as the model in the video and on the cover, so here’s that link if you would like to check it out:

          A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

          As far as Isle of Hope being in paperback, ironically, I just finished final edits on the paperback copy of Isle of Hope not five minutes before I read your sweet comment above, so I’m happy to say that the paperback should be out mid- to late November.

          And, Katy, thank you SO much for being willing to post a review. Reviews are lifeblood to authors, so we always appreciate when readers take the time to post them. Just FYI, I am currently running a newsletter contest where you can earn points for posting reviews, so DO let me know if you post any, either for Isle of Hope or the Home for Christmas Collection or any of my other books, so I can give you those points, okay? And you can also enter my IOH contest on my website since posting purchasing the book and/or posting reviews accrues points as well, so here’s that link:

          ISLE OF HOPE CONTEST

          Anyway, Katy, thank you SOOO MUCH for making my day, my friend and good luck in the contest on this blog or any of my other contests, okay?

          Hugs and more hugs!
          Julie

  25. Beth says:

    Julie, I love your sense of humor and writing style! The way you are not shy about sharing the spicy side the O’Connors’ marriages is so refreshing. The O’Connor family draws me in everytime and I can’t wait to read some of your other books as well!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Beth! Don’t you just LOVE the O’Connor family? Even after reading several other books since, I’ll never forget those characters. 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

    • Thanks SO much, Beth!! And I plan to revisit the O’Connors in future series about the cousins during WWII, beginning with Gabe, Hope, and Henry, so we’ll both get a chance to see them again, my friend! 🙂

      Appreciate you coming by and here’s to a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

  26. Trixi O. says:

    One word….amazing!

    Julie, I’m so glad you shared your experience during your sabbatical. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard that song “Jesus Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood, because that sounds like what God had you do as well. I think when we choose to do just that, God can really take a person farther then ever imagined….spiritually that is! When we give up control of our lives, when we stop trying to dictate each step & give up our dreams and goals, that’s when we really start living! I know it sounds crazy to a lot of people, even to some Christians, but it’s one thing I’ve learned too! It really is quite freeing to know someone else has the “wheel” & will never steer you wrong! Scary….oh my yes….but that’s where faith & trust come in to play. Maybe in that way, God can prepare you for something bigger in your life 🙂
    Julie, I’m excited for a new direction for you…one that God has perfectly planned. Just keep on trusting Him to guide every aspect of your life….I know you already will! What a blessing you are to a lot of people, whether you see it or not….God’s already been using you to voice what He has to say through your writing. Keep on keeping on…..your eyes on the prize, and you know what that is!! 😉
    Thanks Savanna, your posts are always such a joy to read. And I love getting to know authors, especially their faith walk. It encourages me along my path too! Blessings to both of you & always keeping you in my prayers 🙂

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Trixi! I’m glad to hear these little interviews encourage you… your comments always do the same to me. 😉 Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Praying for you as well!

  27. Well, Trixie, I hope you’re happy — you made me cry! What a truly beautiful and encouraging comment, my friend, and one I treasure more than you know. And, YES, it really IS “quite freeing to know someone else has the “wheel” & will never steer you wrong!” Cannot believe I’ve been a Christian since I’m 23 and am just NOW “getting it” at the ripe, old age of 65. I’m sure God must be shaking His head … 🙂

    Thanks SO much for your very kind and uplifting words — I appreciate them SO much, ESPECIALLY your prayers!!

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

  28. Joan Arning says:

    I have read several of Julie’s books and enjoyed them!

  29. Marissa says:

    Congrats on your new release, Julie! Can’t wait to read it! Also, great advice in your interview. Thank you for being such a role model!!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Who doesn’t love Julie, right? 😉 Thanks for joining us, Marissa. Good luck in the drawing as well. Have a great week!

    • MARISSA!! Not sure how I missed you, my friend, but I did, so I apologize!

      And I can’t wait for you to read IOH either, so maybe you’ll win it here, God willing??

      And, WOW, thank you, Marissa, but I don’t think of myself as a role model so much as a woman who has learned a TON from her mistakes over the years through the grace of God, so at the ripe, old age of 65, I guess I do have a leg up in some areas. 🙂

      Anyway, thank you for your sweet comment, and here’s to a win!

      Hugs!!
      Julie

  30. Connie Saunders says:

    I enjoyed this interview and the comments that have been added!
    Blessings to all!

  31. Janka H. says:

    I love the interview. I am deppy humbled because of the nailed-on-toe advice – I wish I was better at “stepping away from the wheel”!

    God bless you both, Savanna and Julie!

    • JANKA!!! Always love seeing your name pop up, my friend, so thanks for coming by!

      To be honest, I wish I’d been better at “stepping away from the wheel,” too, because I would have saved myself a LOT of anxiety and heartbreak doing it God’s way, but I have it down now, although some days I’m better at it than others. 🙂

      Good luck, my friend, and here’s to a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      So glad you could join us, Janka. I think we all can relate to Julie’s words. Such a good reminder for me, I know! Blessings to you!

  32. I am about 1/2 through Isle of Hope and loooooving it!! It is a bautiful and inspiring read! Thanks for the giveaway!!

    • Oh, Sydney, you have NO IDEA just how much that means to me, my friend. I feel like we have forged and bond and friendship, which means I care all the more what you think, so here’s hoping you end up liking it. ESPECIALLY since you just orchestrated the BEST blog tour EVER, my friend, so thank you again.

      Hugs and more hugs!
      Julie

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Awesome, Sydney! I really appreciate you swinging by. I just started the book last night myself. I didn’t want to go to bed! 😉 Have a great week!

  33. Lynne Feuerstein says:

    Thanks Julie and Savannah,for a great interview .I also wanted to say thank you,Julie for giving us both inspiration and romance wrapped up in your wonderful stories.

  34. Marsha Bernabe says:

    Julie your books are amazing!

  35. SAVANNAH!!!

    I cannot thank you enough, my sweet friend, for all the hard work and trouble you went to in hosting me this week — you are a true blessing, and I cannot wait to meet you in person. Just give me the word, and Panera calls … 🙂

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

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