BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

JULIE LESSMAN INTERVIEW - GIVE AWAY OPP




ABOUT AUTHOR: JULIE LESSMAN - 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’s also has garnered 14 RWA awards and made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. You can contact Julie and read excerpts from her books at www.julielessman.com.



JACKET BLURB:
Fooled by a pretty boy once, shame on him.
Fooled by a pretty boy twice,shame on me.
Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassady McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who just as soon hogtie a man as look at him … until Jamie MacKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well lassoes her heart. But when Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than him, Cassie finds herself bucked by love a second time, sending her back to Texas to lick her wounds and heal her heart. In her absence, Jamie discovers money can’t buy love, but love built on faith can set a heart free, a truth he discovers a little too late … or is it

Your new book introduces us to a brand new family. How did you come up with the idea for your new family and the unique members in it?

Well, I knew I wanted an Irish family, but I hoped to make it as different as possible from my Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series, which follows the O’Connor family in Boston from 1916 to 1933. I decided that instead of having a happily married couple like Marcy and Patrick O’Connor at the helm of a large, passionate family, I would create a new “parental” couple to mix things up.

Enter a widowed matriarch (with three daughters and a niece) and the rogue brother-in-law who once was the fiancé that cheated on her before she married his brother. Did you get all that? You see, I’m a baby boomer who gets a wee miffed at the young people getting all the romance in novels because the truth is, God intended marriage to be a romance at ANY age. So I always like to incorporate an older couple caught in the throes of love in all my novels as well. I mean, really—why should the young whippersnappers have all the fun? J

I knew I wanted this family to be quirky, so the heroine in LOVE AT ANY COST—Cassidy McClare—is a sweet and sassy Texas oil heiress whose daddy’s wells have run dry, leaving her high and dry when her “pretty boy” fiancé dumps her. A bit quirky, she’s rather fond of electric cattle prods—especially when the hero, Jamie MacKenna, gives her problems, but she also packs her lasso in her suitcase wherever she goes, along with her boots and spurs because they remind her of home. To round out the “quirk” of this unconventional family, there’s also a deaf and near-blind butler, a grouchy housekeeper, and a sarcastic parrot who’s particularly fond of poker.

What research did you do for this new series? What did you discover in your research that you wanted to add to your story?

Quite a bit, actually, even though I’m notorious for HATING research! But I have to admit, San Francisco is SO fun to write about because its history is just incredibly fascinating. I read an absolutely wonderful novel entitled 1906 by bestselling author James Dalessandro that chronicles the passion and political corruption leading up to the great San Fran earthquake. WOW, did that give me some insight and ideas for book 2!
Of course I did research on Irish communities in the 1900s and discovered that although Boston was considered the “heart of Irish America,” San Francisco actually had a huge contingent of Irish (30%!) in the late 1800s and early 1900s, most of which were in politics and police work. So after running a Facebook contest asking my readers which locale they preferred—San Fran or Charleston (also a big Irish presence)—San Fran came out two to one. I actually wrote a blog called “Congratulations—it’s a Series!” about how this series was born, which gives a bit more info the “birth” of my new “baby.”

I was totally captivated by some incredible landmarks that I took great pains to include in a number of scenes in all the books, such as Adolph Sutro’s Cliff House, the beautiful structure you see in my VIDEO for Love at Any Cost, perched high on a cliff over the ocean.

And don’t even get me started on Sutro Baths, the largest and most magnificent bathhouse in the world! It was a veritable Atlantis where ten thousand bathers could experience a love affair with the sea all at one time in seven seawater and freshwater pools beneath a four-story glazed roof of 100,000 panes of stained glass. The pools fairly shimmered with activity like a sea of minnows, from bathers milling on the platforms to swimmers flying high on toboggan slides, swings, flying rings and trampolines while the laughter and shrieks of children of all ages could be heard above the crash of the surf on the rocky shore outside.

Throughout this series, I also include scenes at the historical Palace Hotel, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Sausalito, and, of course, lots and lots of forays through the notorious Barbary Coast.

“Promise you’ll save your heart for God’s best, a man who loves God as much as you do. Because therein lies a love like no other.” Aunt Cait’s words haunt Cassie’s mind while Jamie’s haunt her heart. She tells him, “I need more than a good man, Jamie—I need a good man who needs God as much as he needs me.” Powerful words Julie. I like how you put this. What do you hope readers take away from this?
Husband Keith and I at my daughter's Graduation
I hope that young women who love God and try to live for Him will understand that just like they can’t experience joy in today’s amoral world without the strength and presence of God, neither can a marriage. Professor Bradley Wright, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, explains from his analysis about people who identify themselves as Christians but rarely attend church, that 60 percent of these have been divorced. Of those who attend church regularly, 38 percent have been divorced, which means that a committed relationship with Christ IS imperative to a marriage today in a world where half of all marriages end in divorce.

Rory makes me smile
In dealing with matters of the heart and marriage what did you tell your kids when training them up?

Rory precious grand baby


Goodness, in today’s permissive society, the most important message I tried to convey to my kids was purity before marriage brings blessing and that lust is not love. So many young girls today equate strong sexual feelings with love, so they move in with their boyfriends for a while, may or may not get married, then wonder why the marriage or relationship 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).

Keith, the love of my life
I believe this so strongly, in fact, that I drummed it into my kid’s heads from little on. Imagine my joy and shock when my college-age son told me what he said to his roommate, a Christian young man who was sleeping with his Christian girlfriend. “But I thought you loved her?” my son told his friend, and the friend answered, “I do, which is why it’s so hard to stop.” My son’s response? “No, because if you really loved her, you’d want God’s best for her instead of cutting off His blessings by giving in to your own lust.” WOW … let me tell you—that was a “proud mom” moment, for sure!

This book takes place in 1902, in San Francisco, What made you have your setting there?

Well, as I explained above, I wanted to get as far away and as different from the O’Connor saga in Boston as possible, so I flipped coasts, but as far as the year 1902? Originally this story took place in 1933, when California was the only state embroiled in a ratification convention for the repeal of the 21st amendment to topple Prohibition. The political fight involved was actually part of my plot and comprised the main conflict between the matriarch and her brother-in-law/ex-fiancé. But, Revell told me that series set in the early 1900s statistically sell better than those set in 1920s and 30s, so they asked me to change the era, which I did. And honestly, I think it makes the story so much richer in this earlier era of Gibson Girls, the birth of the automobile, and the launch of a new century.

I love the title of this book, “Love at Any Cost.” Did you come up with the title? If not what was your original idea?

My original title for this book was Dare to Dream, but I gave Revell the suggestion of Love at All Cost, among other titles. Revell then came back with Love at Any Cost, which I absolutely LOVED!

“Love at Any Cost.” What meaning does it have for you personally? What do you hope readers take away from it?
Family picture at Bernie's Wedding

Oh, wow, I think my dedication at the beginning of this book says it all for me, and I hope the message of this novel will be loud and clear that it’s all because of Christ’s love for us “at any cost” that we can experience true love at all in our marriages, our relationships, and in the world.
REJOICING! on Michigan Biking Trip

To the Lover of my Soul,
Who taught me about ‘love at any cost’
two thousand years ago on a hill outside of Jerusalem.
I will love You and worship You
all the days of my life.

FUN QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK

What three things would you rather not live without? (Besides friends and family)

The Bible aside, of course, I would say—laptop, lip gloss and love stories. How’s that for alliteration?

What movie affected you most when you were young? If you didn't watch movies what books affected you most?

Oh, here’s a surprise—Gone With the Wind! From the moment Scarlett seared Rhett with a look on the winding staircase of Twelve Oaks, I was hooked, and my “romance-writing career” began! In fact, after reading GWTW at the age of 12, I penned my own 150 single-spaced manuscript that today is the basis for my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure. Clearly for me, GWTW is the greatest historical novel I’ve ever read, not only for the rich and sweeping Civil War tapestry that Margaret Mitchell created, but for the wonderful impact her haunting love story had on me.


A friend of yours has a time travel machine and will let you have it for awhile. What would you do with it? Where would you go and what would you do?

Keith & I having fun
Well, first off, I would travel back to witness the Crucifixion because nothing on this earth demonstrates God’s love and mercy more, then I’d head back even further to Moses’ time to witness the parting of the Red Sea because it shows God’s power.

During my chat/prayer time with my husband on the porch swing, I asked him the same question, and since he is an artist who worked on a project for the St. Louis History museum, he quickly said he’d go back to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. WOW, I thought, that would be SO cool, especially since I have always been enamored with the movie, Meet Me in St. Louis, which centers around the St. Louis World’s Fair.


 What two jobs did you do that would surprise people?

Ha! I was a cocktail waitress for exactly three hours when I was twenty-one before I was a Christian. But despite numerous marriage proposals (grin), I quit that very night because I couldn't hack it. My favorite job, however, was a cashier at a brand-new movie theatre when I was seventeen, where the premiere movie was … take a guess … Gone With the Wind!! Back then GWTW re-released every seven years, so the first week of work I had to dress up in a Southern Belle dress with a curly up do—SO fun!!

When it’s time for you to relax and read which way do you enjoy reading and why – digital or paper books? What types of stories to you like to read?
Hard at Work

Mmmm … that’s a tough one. I LOVE to curl up with paperback, but since I do most of my reading at night in bed, I hate to keep my hubby up with the light, so I prefer the Kindle then. But Kindle or paperback, I carry a book EVERYWHERE at ALL TIMES, even in the powder room. J

And what type of stories? Are you kidding?? Christian historical romance, of course, and the more passion both spiritually and romantically, the better … ;)

THRILLED you can be here on my blog and EXCITED about the 5 BOOK GIVEAWAY at THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK RIGHT NOW!! Must go to TBCN to enter www.bookfun.org 

I know you have other giveaways too. I'm glad about ALL the Opportunities for readers to win a copy of your new book. I adore your new family and this book!

Nora :o)

ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR THE READERS JULIE?
My book at SAMS, OHMYGOSH!

Thanks SO much, Nora, for this wonderful opportunity! I LOVE to hear from reader friends, so if they like, they can contact me through my website at http://www.julielessman.com, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter at http://www.julielessman.com/sign-up-for-newsletter/.

Also, I am running a HUGE contest on my Journal Jots blog right now where entrants can win a Kindle, have a character named after them in my next book, win a signed copy of that book, and five top, brand-new CBA books from library.” Here’s the link: http://www.julielessman.com/journal-jots1/.

Readers can also check out my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books on the “Excerpts” tab of my website at http://www.julielessman.com/excerpts/. Finally, I can be found daily at The Seekers blog at http://seekerville.blogspot.com/, a group blog devoted to encouraging and helping aspiring writers on the road to publication.

And just as an FYI for your readers Nora:

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS/SALES GOING ON RIGHT NOW: For those interested in reading my books, I have a number of fun things going on, so I hope they’ll take advantage of these opportunities:

THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK 5 Book Giveaway www.bookfun.org 

SALE!! My Irish love story, A Light in the Window is almost half price at $3.99 at Amazon and B& N.

FREE DOWNLOAD!! A Hope Undaunted, book 1 in Julie's "Winds of Change" series is currently available for FREE DOWNLOAD on Amazon, B & N or CBD.

Thanks Julie. It’s a thrill to be promoting your new book Love at Any Cost at TBCN!! THANKS to your publisher Revell for the 5 book giveaway.

SEE YOU AT THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK www.bookfun.org DRAWING STARTS TODAY!

JULIE will be there in the middle of the discussion. It's always fun! Must Join The Book Club Network to participate.

Julie's visit to Atlanta for Passion Must Pure Book Club Meeting 










It's always a thrill to have you here Julie!
Blessings
Nora :o)

19 comments:

  1. HI Julie, I'm a mom of three girls who have grown up to be wonderful Christian women, I so agree with your thoughts on how to raise Godly kids. My girls were taught from toddlers on that marriage was a forever commitment and not to give themselves physically to anyone who wouldn't wait for them until marriage. God has truly blessed in our family. The time we live in is hard, but if we stick to the Word of God, our kids can defeat the devil and the world's view of marriage!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YAY, JOJO!!! When we look around this amoral world of ours, it sure seems as there aren't a whole lot of young women who choose to follow God's precepts instead of the world's, so I am on my feet applauding you, my friend -- GREAT JOB!!

      And you are SO right -- if we stick to the Word of God, our kids CAN defeat the devil and the world's view of marriage. I am living proof because I was a 60's/70's wild child who went the way of the world until I found Jesus Christ at the age of 23. Oh, I was raised in a God-fearing home, but none of it took until I learned about having an intimate relationship with the God of the Universe. Almost overnight, I started applying His precepts, and OH MY GOODNESS, my life turned around on a dime. If young women only knew the blessings in store in doing things God's way, they would turn their back on the world's morality in a heartbeat!!

      Thanks, JoJo, for coming by and GOOD LUCK in this giveaway!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  2. Great post! I absolutely LOVED all the pictures, especially Mrs. Lessman at Sam's Club! Too fun :) thanks for sharing and asking all those fun questions....I'd been wondering some of them too ;)
    Callie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, CALLIE, yeah that's one of my faves, too, because finding my book in Sam's Club was WAY COOL!! :)

      Thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  3. Thanks for this interview with Julie, who is one of my favorite authors. It was fun to see the photos as well. I've entered the book giveaway on TBCN. I'm looking forward to reading this new series so it would be fabulous to win Love at Any Cost.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, PAM, I soooo appreciate your kind comment and am soooo thrilled to be a fave of yours because you are definitely a fave of mine too, my friend.

      Here's to a win!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  4. I read raving reviews about this book. It would be a great book to add to my collection. Thanks for having the giveaway.

    harnessrose(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, ROSE, I'll take "rave reviews" any day of the week, so YAY, glad you've heard some good things. Hopefully you'll be saying some good things, too, after you read it!!

      GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  5. THANKS for your encouragement to Julie; Jo,Jo, I love Julie's books the topics she talks about in her books and the hope and faith struggle her characters go through. I really love this new book and family. I didn't think I could love a family as much as I did this last one but ohmygosh I do!! This book is fun and funny and the main character is feisty and determined to live her life for for Christ not some good looking boy!

    CALLIE - I hope you enter the drawing at The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org Juilie is there interacting with readers! It's fun!
    I'm glad you enjoyed the interview Callie! I liked the picture at Sam's too!! Julie is alot of fun in her books and in person!

    PAM - I'm so glad that you entered the contest at The Book Club Network. Julie is there also interacting with readers. She is so much fun.

    ROSE - Oh, this books is fun and as great as her other books. Rose I hope that you have time to enter the drawing at The Book Club Network site. You must join the network to enter www.bookfun.org

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NORA ... interacting with you and your sweet hubby in any compacity is always a TOTAL blessing to me, girlfriend, so thank you SO much for hosting me on your blog!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  6. THANKS for sharing your heart Julie!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree with everyone who said this book looks great. I truly love the O'Connors, but this book seems like it will be just as good. I enjoy a feisty heroine, and it looks like Cassidy will rank right up there with Charity and Katie.

    Holly
    oceandreamerfla(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, HOLLY, I hope so!! Cassie is a hoot and very funny, I think, although not as funny as Charity in my opinion -- that woman has me laughing out loud!! ;)

    Good luck in the contest!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  9. Looking forward to my first read of one of your books & so hoping I win a copy! I follow your blog & have read your entries on numerous other blogs sites - just want to say that your sincerity & faith come through loud & clear, am sure they do the same in the writing of your books - another reason I welcome becoming a fan.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win one of your books!

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, BONNIE, I can already tell that I am going to LOVE YOU, my friend -- what a sweetheart you are, interested in becoming a "reader friend (I hate the word "fan," because we are all just women who love God and romance, right??) EVEN before you read my books!! That blesses me and I hope my books are worth it to you, you sweet girl, you!!

      Here's to a win, Bonnie Roof!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
    2. Oh, BONNIE, I can already tell that I am going to LOVE YOU, my friend -- what a sweetheart you are, interested in becoming a "reader friend (I hate the word "fan," because we are all just women who love God and romance, right??) EVEN before you read my books!! That blesses me and I hope my books are worth it to you, you sweet girl, you!!

      Here's to a win, Bonnie Roof!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  10. Great interview Julie! very informative!Love to win your book!Shelia Hall

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, SHELIA, thanks so much for coming by to read the interview and comment!! Here's hoping it nets you a win!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete