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Filed under: Author interview,Giveaways — pattyleblanc @ 11:47 pm
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julie-lessman-2-12Julie Lessman is a new author who has garnered much writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law. She is the author of The Daughters of Boston series, which includes A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. You can contact Julie through her Web site at

1.This being the third book, give us a little background on the first two books and then the storyline for A Passion Denied.

 The Daughters of Boston series is what I like to call a “family-saga romance” because not only does it focus on the love relationship between the hero and heroine, but also on the romance between the mother and father and the other sibling couples throughout all three books. I suppose I’m not a “typical” romance writer—I like to keep the reader guessing as to whom the heroine ends up with, and I also like to incorporate lots of other surprises as well. So this is one series you DEFINITELY want to read in order to get the fullest impact. That said, here are the jacket blurbs for each book:

 Book 1: A Passion Most Pure:

She’s found the love of her life. Unfortunately, he loves her sister.

As World War I rages across the Atlantic in 1916, a smaller war is brewing in Boston. Faith O’Connor finds herself drawn to an Irish rogue who is anything but right for her. Collin McGuire is brash, cocky, and from the wrong side of the tracks, not to mention forbidden by her father. And then there’s the small matter that he is secretly courting her younger sister. But when Collin’s affections suddenly shift her way, it threatens to tear Faith’s proper Boston family apart.

 Book 2: A Passion Redeemed:

No man can resist her charms. Or so she thought.

Depth of beauty … shallow of heart, Charity O’Connor is a woman who gets what she wants. Her stunning beauty and flirtatious ways have always succeeded with men … that is, until Mitch Dennehy. Brilliant and dangerously handsome, Mitch is a no-nonsense newspaperman who wants nothing to do with her. 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.

 Book 3: A Passion Denied:

A Love So True, a Memory So False … and a Passion Denied

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.

 2.  Tell us how these stories came about.

 Four life-altering words: Gone With the Wind. When I read that novel at the age of twelve, I was swept away into the world of romance for the very first time. It captured me like no other book had done, and I immediately set out to write (along with thousands of other love-struck young girls, I’m sure), what I hoped would be “the great American novel.” Obviously my dreams of grandeur didn’t go anywhere (grin), but I did write 150 single-spaced pages of a story that is the basis for my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure.

 Fast forward almost forty years later—I was sitting in a beauty parlor reading a Newsweek magazine July 16, 2001 cover article about Christian entertainment. It said Christian books, movies and music were on the threshold of exploding. My heart jumped, and something in my spirit said, “It’s time to finish your book.” Now, I have to be honest with you—up until that moment, I had never seriously considered writing a book. But the pull was so strong, that I started writing A Passion Most Pure the next month, finally selling it to Revell 4-1/2 years and 42 rejections later.

 3.  What do you have planned for the O’Connor family next?

 Oh my, you wouldn’t believe the trouble brewing in O’Connorland! There are six O’Connor children in all, four daughters and two sons, and each one will have their own story. As a matter of fact, I JUST finished Book 1 of the next series on St. Pat’s Day—pretty timely, eh, for a series about an Irish family? It is Katie’s story, the fourth daughter, which was fun because she is a pistol who comes of age in the Roaring Twenties, right before The Great Depression.

 Books 2 and 3 will be about the O’Connor brothers, Sean and then Steven, all during the exciting era of speakeasies, dance marathons, gangsters, G-men and era criminals like Bonnie & Clyde and John Dillenger. Sean’s love interest will be … guess who? Emma, Charity’s scarred friend from book 2, A Passion Redeemed! Steven will be a tall, brooding G-man-type modeled after real-life Elliot Ness. I am very excited because all three plots are very involved, include detailed sub-stories for ALL the character couples (can you say “complicated”???) and each plot has surprises that I hope and pray will blow readers away.

4.  Besides writing, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

 Oh, you mean how I USED to spend my free time? That’s easy: watching old movies (Gone With the Wind, That Touch of Mink, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Susan Slept Here are some of my favorites), reading more books, gardening and hosting elaborate dinner parties a la Martha Stewart. I’m pretty driven in whatever I do (anal might be a better word). And, yes, I’ve been known to pipe guest’s initials into their twice-baked potatoes, cut napkin rings out of real lemons to hold lemon green beans, and sketch a layout for how the food would be placed on the plate. Which was fine when I was younger and had the energy to do it, but these days, sitting at my computer with a candle burning and a cup of Hazelnut Cinnamon coffee is my pastime of choice.

 5.  Are you a fulltime writer or do you have another job as well?

 I am a fulltime writer now since I quit my part-time travel writer job over a year ago, which is great time-wise, but a little scary in the payroll department, given the tight economy.

 6.  What types of books do you read and what are your two all-time favorites?

 Well, number one is no secret—Gone With the Wind. This is the book that launched my romance-writing career at the tender age of 12! J I think I may be one of the few people around who actually LOVED Scarlett O’Hara … and don’t even get me started about Rhett Butler! Another all-time favorite of mine is To Kill A Mockingbird—incredible storytelling.

Some of my Inspirational favorites are Francine Rivers, of course, particularly Redeeming Love and her Mark of the Lion series—both awesome. I absolutely love Liz Curtis Higgs’ Scottish trilogy, Fair is the Rose, Thorn in My Heart and Whence Comes a Prince, as well as Kathleen Morgan’s Child of the Mist and Daughter of Joy. And Kristin Heitzmann’s Diamond of the Rockies series is another favorite.

 Newer authors that I particularly like are Tamara Alexander, Maggie Brendan, Patti Lacy and absolutely anything by my Seeker buds, Mary Connealy, Janet Dean, Deb Giusti, Myra Johnson, Glynna Kaye, Sandra LeeSmith, Missy Tippens, Camy Tang and Cheryl Wyatt.

 7.  What are you currently reading and what is the short list in your to be read pile?

 I am currently reading Maggie Brendan’s The Jewel of His Heart and The Moral Premise by Stanley D. Williams, an excellent writing book recommended by my agent. On my short TBR list? Janet Dean’s Courting the Doctor’s Daughter, Cheryl Wyatt’s Ready-Made Family and Tamara Alexander’s The Inheritance.

 8. How can readers find out more about your books and where can they be purchased?

First of all, thank you so much, Patty, for allowing me this time to connect with you and your readers. Anyone who would like to contact me can do so through my website at, 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 us at 


Julie’s tagline is”Passion With a Purpose”, and I heartily agree, as God’s love is woven through her stories in such a fashion that the message cannot be denied. Julie has agreed to give away a copy of “A Passion Denied”, the third installment in the Daughters of Boston series. Post a message leaving your email address coded to avoid spam such as 123[at]charter[dot]net. I have just begun reading it myself and will post my review before the drawing. The drawing will be on May 7th. I also love this poster that her husband created showing all three books. Isn’t it amazing? I am quite impressed.




  1. Ley Says:

    Ooh, that poster is so neat! Now, that would be fun to hang on the wall, right next to my DragonKnight poster and the Kaziel one. Who cares about movie posters when you can have book ones?! The Daughters of Boston series is amazing, and I would love to win book 3. Thank you!

  2. Sherrinda Says:

    I keep seeing these books everywhere, there is so much buzz! I have heard Julie is a fabulous writer and I really enjoyed her blog on Seekerville about romantic tension. (which I love!)
    Great interview Patty! I look forward to the review! Happy reading!

  3. Renee Says:

    I love the Daughter’s of Boston series and can’t wait to hear about the other O’Connor siblings!

    Julie, I also LOVE Scarlett O’Hara, I think her “strong” personality is terrific, I like the fact that she’s not a shrinking violet, damsel in distress type and that she takes charge! I think we all need a little Scarlett in our lives!

    Please enter me to win A Passion Denied!


  4. LEY!!! So fun to see you again, and thanks to both Patty and you for the compliment on the poster that my husband did. Let me tell you, having an artist for a husband comes in pretty darn handy at times … 🙂

    Gosh, SHERRINDA, we definitely have to get you this book, if for nothing else to put to rest all the “buzz” you say you’ve been hearing! And thanks for your sweet comment about my Seeker blog on romantic tension. Once you read my books, you will see that is something that is near and dear to my heart — heart-pounding romantic tension interlaced with heart-pounding love for God. What an unbeatable combination!

    Oh, AMEN, RENEE!!! I so totally agree that we all need a little “Scarlett” in our lives … which is why book 2, A Passion Redeemed, was so much fun for me to write because Charity is my personal version of Scarlett O’Hara.

    Thanks to all of you for stopping by, and wish you could all win, but I’m afraid my husband would shoot me if I started giving books away at that rate … 🙂


  5. Jessica Says:

    Ooh, it looks like we like some of the same books. I’m so glad Emma is going to get a hero. She deserves one. I also love the cover to A Passion Denied.
    Enter me, please!

    jessica_nelson7590 (at) yahoo dot com

  6. Hey, JESSICA, thanks for stopping by! Yes, Emma is such a special character that I feel very blessed to be able to write her story. I hope to fashion her after Francine Rivers’ beautiful heroine in the Mark of the Lion trilogy, Hadassah — also a scarred and disfigured woman whose beauty of soul transforms her scarred countenance into true beauty. Ironically, I never planned for Sean and Emma to be a book or even a love interest for each other until book 2, A Passion Redeemed, when I had Sean stare at her in shock when he learns her husband threw hot grease in her face. From that moment on, a glimmer of awareness entered my mind that maybe someday down the road, if Revell bought a 2nd series from me (which they did, thank you, God!), this confirmed bachelor just might have a match in the gentle and shy and horribly abused Emma Malloy.


  7. CarolynnW Says:

    The poster looks fantastic!
    I love the covers of all three books, the models on them look exactly like I picture the characters to look like. And the stories just keep getting better! Can’t wait to read A Passion Denied, thanks for the chance to win!

  8. I loved book one and I am reading book two now. I would love to win book three. Julie is such a great story teller. This is a fun interview. Thanks!
    carrie (at) turansky (dot) com

  9. Jane Squires Says:

    Maybe I can win the first book since I never knew about it when I read the second book. I wrote you reviews on the second book.
    I see here you live in Missouri. So do I. I live in Wasola – near the Arkansas border.
    God annoint and continue to use you.
    jrs362 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  10. CAROLYNN!!!! Good girl — you’re definitely hot on the trail of a free book with all your comments, girl! 🙂 And thanks so much for your encouragement — I hope you think A Passion Denied is the best of all because I definitely want to get “better and better,” you know?

    CARRIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Soooo good to see you here, my friend — thank you for your kind words. I look forward to seeing you at ACFW, I hope!

    NOOOOOOOOOO, JANE, you didn’t read book 2 first, did you???? Oh, bummer, because now all the lovely surprises are ruined, but hopefully you will still enjoy the book. And it will certainly give you some great background before you read book 3, A Passion Denied. And I live in St. Louis, which is quite a ways from the Arkansas border, but at least we live in the same state! And thank you for writing the reviews — I looked for them, but didn’t see them, but maybe because it takes a while for them to be posted? Good luck in this contest, my friend.


  11. SandyG Says:

    Hi…I’d like to be entered in your giveaway. I just finished Ms. Lessman’s book, Passion Most Pure and enjoyed it very much. Also, enjoyed the interview. Thank you!



  12. Amber Stokes Says:

    I also love the poster! It’s very lovely! Thanks for another chance to win…and don’t worry…I’m sure Borders will still see me hanging around occasionally no matter what 🙂 There are so many inspiring books out there, and I am definitely enjoying your book! I went to Borders this last Friday and I am now on chapter 8 of A Passion Most Pure. Faith’s trust in God is a wonderful example…I’m looking forward to reading more about her!
    –Border’s Girl


  13. Hey, Sandy, thank you SO much for reading A Passion Most Pure, and if you win, you’re up next for A Passion Redeemed. Don’t worry — Charity gets hers in that book for sure, and the redemption is sweet! 🙂


  14. Mary Says:

    I love Julie’s books, she captures you right from the beginning! The poster is wonderful, each of the book covers are so lovely. I’m hoping to win A Passion Denied, so please include me. Thanks!


  15. Dear Mary,

    Thank you SO much for your kind words! designing wonderful posters! Good luck in the contest, Mary.


  16. Courtney Says:

    Oh, I’m enjoying reading the interviews for this book! I haven’t had a chance to buy A PASSION DENIED yet. Therefore, I’d be grateful to win it. Great series so far!!!

  17. Kim Says:

    I L-O-V-E Julie’s books! We had an email conversation a few weeks ago in which she stated some people thought her books too sensual. I totally disagree!! They’re not sensual – they are REAL LIFE!!! I have so enjoyed her books that a lot of my friends have gone out and purchased their own copies! I haven’t been able to get my hands on a copy of A Passion Denied, yet. Can’t wait to read it!!!

    Please enter me for a chance to win this book!



  18. Amber Says:

    I had the privilege of corresponding with Julie last year when her first two books had already come out. I wish her the best with her upcoming novels and would love to win her lastest novel to add to my collection.
    Amber 🙂


  19. Amber Says:

    …Oops, I spelled “latest” incorrectly! Sorry about that!

  20. COURTNEY … thanks for for your kind comment AND for reading the interviews (I didn’t think anybody really did that … :)). I wish everybody could win in this contest, but as I’ve said before, my husband would string me up if I kept giving the books away … 🙂

    KIM!!!! Thank you SO much for stopping by AND for your kind encouragement and word of mouth. That means the world to any author, much less a fairly new one like me, so THANK YOU and good luck, sweetie.


  21. BORDERS GIRL (AMBER)!!!!!!!!!!!!! Grin, I just now saw your comment, sweetie, and you made me smile AGAIN!! I would LOVE it if you sent me a picture reading APMP in your Borders — I would put it in my newsletter next time for sure!!


  22. Stacy :) Says:

    Hi Patty! 🙂

    Love the latest author – she sounds wonderful! Anyone who loves Gone with the Wind as much as she does has to be cool… 🙂 Do we get to read her next? Did we ever decide what book to read this month?

    Bless you,

    Stacy 🙂

  23. AMBER (CARPE DIEM!), thanks SO much for reading my other two books — I hope you like the third as well. Let me know after you read it, okay?

    STACY — Do I detect another Gone With the Wind fan in our midst??? Oh my, if favoritism played a part in the contest win, a GWTW freak would win every single time!! 🙂 Thanks for dropping by.


  24. Katherine Says:

    This book looks amazing. I have started the first in the series and can’t put it down. I would love to own all the books. please enter me in the drawing. Thanks Katherine

  25. Katherine Says:

    I forgot to add my e-mail address to the last post to enter me in the drawing. It is



  26. KATHERINE!!! So YOU are “peachykath,” who I just spoke to over on Susan J. Reinholdt’s blog!! Grin, you are making the rounds, girl, which is good because I’m giving away over 15 books (your choice) in a ton of blog interviews, so you go, girl!!


  27. pattyleblanc Says:

    Well Katherine, it looks like making the rounds has paid off for you. You are the winner of A Passion Denied. I will email you and you’ll have at least a week to get back to me with your mailing address. Congratulations! I know you will love A Passion Denied. I just finished it today and will be posting my review soon.

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