Thursday, October 6, 2016

Interview with Love Everlasting's Julie Lessman + Giveaway + Deals

Hi everyone! Annie here. Did you check out the book snippet of Julie Lessman's Love Everlasting, Book 2 of Isle of Hope series earlier today on my blog? If not, fret not. HERE it is. 

Now, let me introduce the very special Julie Lessman to y'all. If you're a regular here on Just Commonly or follow me on Facebook, y'all know how I adore Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love (see review HERE), and the lady behind it, Julie Lessman. I had the pleasure of meeting her in REAL LIFE at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat this August, and let me tell you, she is FUN, FUN, FUN! Her books, steamy (in a clean sense? It is Christian fiction!) and heart-stopping with a strong message for anyone to relate to. 

O, and in case you don't know who I'm talking about (really, you need to change that!), here's a little bio on Julie:



Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys writing close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.

Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series, Julie Lessman was named American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered 17 Romance Writers of America and other awards. Voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also named on Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction list.



Julie’s most recent novel, Isle of Hope was voted on Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015, and Surprised by Love appeared on Family Fiction magazine’s list of Top Ten Novels of 2014. Her independent novel 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. Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. You can contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at www.julielessman.com.

CONNECT WITH JULIE:   
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram
Goodreads | Google+ | Amazon | Seekerville Journal Jots | Newsletter 





Here's a little about Love Everlasting, and then we can jump in with the interview:


Title:  Love Everlasting
Series: Isle of Hope, Book 2
Author: Julie Lessman
Publisher: Julie Lessman, LLC
Release Date: September 30, 2016



He sets hearts on fire.
She’s been burned by love.
Can hope survive the flames of the past?

School teacher by day, ghostwriter by night, sweet and shy Shannon O’Bryen doesn’t mind writing romance on the sly, but to live it? No, thank you, not since the man she loved turned out to be a player who broke both her heart and her spirit. Now focused more on her faith and her fiction, she vows the next time she falls in love, it will be safely—through the pages of a book.

Dr. Sam Cunningham is a charismatic player who breaks hearts as regularly as he washes his pearl-white Corvette. Abandoned as a young child, Sam was an orphan shuffled through the foster-care system, bitterly driven to prove he is worthy of love—the kind that lasts forever. Once he learns Shannon is a romance writer, he enlists her help in winning back his ex-girlfriend. She teaches him about faith and the true definition of love, and he soon discovers he’s been seeking it in the wrong place all along—and with the wrong girl. But can he convince a woman who's been burned by love to open her eyes—and her heart—to a love everlasting?




JC: Just Commonly 

JC: How are the themes different between Isle of Hope and Love Everlasting?

Well, the base theme for the entire Isle of Hope series can be summed up in my favorite quote from book 1, Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love, where the pastor father who destroyed his family through an adulterous affair conveys to his son the most important lesson he has ever learned:

“It took losing everything, Son, including my life, to finally understand what I was too blind to see. Everything to liberate me from the same pride that lost Lucifer his soul. And that is—God alone is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the beat of my pulse. He is the strength in my bones. He is my beginning and my end, and there is no hope in anything—” His father took a step forward, an almost ethereal glow of faith in his eyes like nothing Jack had ever seen, “anything … except Him.”

And for any of your readers who are interested, they can actually win a framed picture of this quote in my current CONTEST, plus have a character named after them in Love Everlasting paperback releasing Nov., and receive three of my signed books as featured in the pic below.


But to answer your question, the main theme of book 1 Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love is forgiveness, and the main theme for book 2, Love Everlasting, is that true love—the kind that lasts a forever—can only come when the God Who loves “forever” is part of the equation.
JC: Ahhh. If I didn't already have them, I'd be jumping over there now to enter!! Go enter now!! Love the framed quote and the fabulous books!! All on my top faves list!

JC: In Isle of Hope, there's a bit of a personal connection, of the father daughter relationship in there. What about Love Everlasting? Is there a personal connection you can share with us?

Sure, but certainly not as personal and direct as the connection/message in Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love. But I will say that all the lessons the heroine teaches her “player” friend/hero, Sam, are lessons that I learned very well after I became a Christian at the age of twenty-three. Because, you see, that’s when I went from an amoral lifestyle gleaned from the free-love era to a completely moral lifestyle in Christ. 

JC: Who is your favorite secondary character in Love Everlasting? Is it a nurse name Annie? heheh. (Yes, I'm IN the book!!)

LOL … ABSOLUTELY!! ;) But I will admit that I worried a wee bit about making you sound too “wild,” but then I thought—come on, even sweet Annie has to have a wild side … ;) 
(JC: O, you betcha!)

Without question, Dr. Ben Carmichael is my favorite secondary character because I just LOVE to redeem crotchety bad boys (a la Mitch Denney from A Passion Redeemed and Nick Baronē from Dare to Love Again). But I will say that Tess comes in a close second because she is just so darn spunky and ditzy and fun that together, they are a pure joy to write (and to read, I hope!).

JC: O, there really is just something about bad boys, isn't there?! What can we expect for the next book in the series?

That would be book 3 in the Isle of Hope Series, Unchanging Love, which will release in Fall 2017. It will be the love story of Shannon’s twin sister, Cat, and Pastor Chase Griffin, the ex-Navy Seal who woos a wayward girl back to God—and to himself. Here’s the premise: A bold and independent woman challenges the ideals and—and the morals—of a pastor who loves her no matter the mistakes that she makes.

And just in case you plan to ask if there is a “personal connection” I can share on that story, the answer would be YES! Because, you see, twin sister Cat is a lot like I used to be before I came to Christ, only I was actually a lot wilder and a lot harder than I plan to portray her, so I definitely have some redeeming to do. But if God did it for me? I can sure do it for Cat with a true “personal connection.” ;)

JC:  Unchanging Love sounds delish!

JC: If there's a theme verse we can take away in Love Everlasting, what would it be?

That our confidence and strength has to come from God, not people, things, or careers and as I mentioned above, that true love—the kind that lasts a forever—can only come when the God Who loves “forever” is part of the equation.

JC: AMEN to that!

Annie, thank you SO much for hosting me on your blog—it’s been fun! I love to hear from readers, so they can find and contact me at www.julielessman.com, or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest or by signing up for my newsletter or my Journal Jots blog. I am also part of a group blog called Seekerville that inspires, encourages, teaches, and informs aspiring writers on the road to publication and beyond. Although Seekerville has been listed on Writers Digest 2013, 2014, and 2015 “Best 101 Websites for Writers,” it is also a blog devoted to readers as well.


Oh, and readers can also check out my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books on the “Excerpts” tab of my website.


Finally, I have the following FREEBIE & SALE currently going on:

-- 50% SALE ON ISLE OF HOPE, FAMILY FICTION MAGAZINE’S BEST OF 2015!”
Now’s your chance to get my 5-star, award-winning contemporary novel, Isle of Hope for half off, so check out the sale HERE!

-- FREE DOWNLOAD ON THE NOVELLA PREQUEL TO ISLE OF HOPE!

YES, there IS a prequel to my latest novel, Isle of Hope, and it’s called A Glimmer of Hope, so take advantage of this free ebook HERE!


JC: Julie, the pleasure is ALL mine!! 

Readers, don't go away yet! Take advantage of the deals, freebie and contest shared in this interview! AND don't forget the tour giveaway (scroll on down)!

Don't want to wait for the giveaway? Go ahead and purchase a copy now (currently on sale for a limited time only!)



TO PURCHASE A COPY

  





Enter the giveaway HERE or click on the image above.














                                                                                                                                                                          

20 comments :

  1. I have read all of Julie's books except this new series, and I cannot wait to read these stories. I too, enjoyed meeting Julie at the CFRR, she was so fun and full of life!

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  2. Hey, REBECCA, thanks for coming by again, and I enjoyed meeting you, too, my friend! And I'd enjoy sending you a free book, too, so here's to a win and GOOD LUCK!!

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

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  3. Loved this post/interview, Annie - thank you!!

    Annie, I loved finding your name in 'Love Everlasting' - and Julie, re: making Annie's character a little scandalous, I've always heard those sweet, quieter people are the ones you should beware of, LOL. Although there were some moments in Nashville when she wasn't so quiet, with the exception of those in which she was open-mouth, jaw-hang awe struck, however, in her defense - I suspect all readers present had some of those moments, LOL. Such inspiring, beautiful memories!!

    Annie, didn't you just love Ben's character in 'Love Everlasting' - I've commented previously how much I disliked him the first time I read 'Isle of Hope', I so loved Tess's character in the book. However, Ben surpassed her in 'Love Everlasting' - for me, some of his comments actually making me laugh out loud. ONLY Julie Lessman, LOL!!

    I love, love, love, this series and am excitedly awaiting the story of Cat and Chase!!

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  4. I'm not a huge drama fan, but I've downloaded the novella. It sounds like a great story. I tried to read A Hope Undaunted but it was way too much drama for me. Willing to try another book, though!

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  5. LOL, BONNIE, I couldn't agree more about those "sweet, quieter people" being the ones to beware of ... Of course, not being "sweet" or "quiet" myself, I really don't know for sure ... ;)

    I have to admit, I just LOVE Ben, but then I have a penchant for crotchety heroes. ;)

    Hugs and more hugs!
    Julie

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  6. Beautiful interview! Thank you for sharing your heart with us, Julie! I always love to read an author's "behind-the-scenes: stuff when it comes to writing. Your personal testimony is truly inspiring.:)

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  7. UH-OH, KATHERINE ... are you aware that I am a CDQ (caffeinated drama queen)??? But ... if it's any consolation, I had a blogger friend tell me she HATES drama and that the first book she read of mine drove her crazy. But ... she read the next one, then the next, and now she is one of my biggest fans (although I prefer the word reader friend). So if I can convert her, hopefully I can convert you, too. So do let me know if I'm successful, okay? And if not? Uh ... never mind. ;)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

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  8. Thanks, ROSE! I just appreciate you coming by and let me just say, you deserve to win, my friend, so GOOD LUCK!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  9. Thanks REBECCA! I love every one of Julie's books. It was a great time at CFRR with everyone. Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Hahha. Hi Bonnie. I was so look happy to read your name in the dedication! You are such a special lady. Thank you for your support here and your friendship.

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  11. Thank you Annie and Julie for this fun interview! Just loved finding out more about my favorite author and this wonderful new book,Love Everlasting! Also loved getting a sneak preview of the next book in the series,so looking forward to that one! Thanks again Julie for letting us learn more about you and your stories. Interviews like this prove what a special person you are!

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  12. Katherine, I totally understand. I've read books of great authors that didn't fit well with me and others were raving about it. I didn't let that deter me. I went ahead and read other books by the same author and wind up loving every single one of them afterwards. It's weird. Sometimes it clicks and sometimes they don't. There are times I've read a book a couple of times before I truly get it and loved it. I hope you'll give Julie's books another try. Maybe a novella first as you've mentioned.

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  13. Rose, I agree. Julie's truly an inspiration. You'll need to meet her in person and hear her testimony. It's so empowering too. You'll need to stalk her! Hahha. Did I say that out loud?!

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  14. Lynne. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the interview. I love interviews too for the very reasons you've mentioned. It's a good way to know the authors outside of their books. Thanks again!

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  15. LYNNE!! You're making the rounds today, my friend, so THANK YOU!! I SO appreciate your sweet support and encouragement, and I'm counting on coffee and peach cobbler together someday, okay?

    Hugs and more hugs!
    Julie

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  16. ANNIE!!! I just now realized I haven't officially thanked you for being part of my blog tour, so BLESS YOU for saying yes and just for being one of the sweetest people I know. I cherish your friendship and SO appreciate your support, my friend!!

    Hugs and more hugs!
    Julie

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  17. Hey Annie! Julie is such a great blog guest, isn't she? :)

    Thanks for sharing!

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  18. Oh! P.S. I have read all of Julie's books, I think. :)

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  19. Hey Annie on the "follow SLB on Pinterest entry, my computer spazzed. I'm on Pinterest as "Sarah Claucherty" just to clarify

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  20. SARAH!!! Thanks for coming by, sweetie, and I hope your diligence pays off, so GOOD LUCK!

    HUGS,
    Julie

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