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Julie 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 website at

1. In A Passion Redeemed Charity learns many lessons in this story, what made you decide to write about what you did? I think that you did it very tactfully. What do you hope your readers will take away from this story? I really enjoyed it.

Thanks so much, Nora, but I’ll be honest with you—Charity is basically me before I came to Christ (without the extreme beauty, of course!), and I wanted to show just how powerful and faithful God is in transforming each of us into “new creatures in Christ,” no matter how long it may take or how much baggage we may be carrying.

However, the MOST important thing I pray readers take away from not only A Passion Redeemed, but all three of the books in The Daughters of Boston series, is the reality of how natural and fulfilling an intimate relationship with God can and SHOULD be. Like breathing. This book may be fiction, but this is NOT a fairy tale here. It is possible to have a living, breathing relationship with the God of the Universe. He’s crazy about us, and if most people really understood that, their lives would turn on a dime and blessings would overtake them. Believe me, I KNOW this firsthand—I used to be a hard, cynical, coarse human being (like Charity) before God pulled me up by the scruff of the neck and said, “Yo, Julie! Get a clue. You’re the apple of my eye!” :D He’s been the love of my life ever since.

2. In A Passion Denied you take on Elizabeth O'Connor, a younger sister of Charity. I really liked how you dealt with the topic of "True Love." Why was that so important to you? What do you hope readers will take away from this story? I have to say it really gripped my heart!!

For me, the concept of “true love” is critical because let’s face it—it’s what every human being is looking for. But I wanted to show that the only “true love” that will truly make us happy is the unconditional love of God, and once we accept His love AND give it back to others, then—and only then—will we find “true love” as God intended, not only in the romantic aspect, but in all of our relationships.

As far as what I hope readers will take away from this story, I pray that each one of us will realize the unconditional love of God in our lives. One of my favorite scenes in A Passion Denied is when Brady feels his past his unforgivable and Father Mac tells him that he knew a man who not only committed adultery, but murdered his lover’s husband. And yet, Father Mac says, this man is the only man God calls a man after his own heart. YES!! Three cheers for King David—a man of God who gives fallible people like me great hope. Because I have had more than my fair share of “real things” and dark failures in my life, and it thrills me to no end that God loves me and forgives me despite them all.

3. Where do you go from here Julie? You've done the first three books in the Daughters of Boston series with each book dealing with a different sister in the O'Connor family, now what? What are you writing about now?

I am thrilled to say that my publisher has contracted me for another 3-book series that will finish off the saga of the O’Connors in grand style. However, I must emphasize that this will be a BRAND-NEW series, NOT a part of The Daughters of Boston Series. My vision for this next series is simply to flesh out the O’Connor family and utilize their drama and … ahem, passion … to illustrate not only how relationships with God can vary within a family (or among people, in general), but also how vital a relationship with God is in the well-being of that family and its true happiness in life.

Book 1 (working title Refuge From the Storm) is the story of the youngest daughter, Katie, who is a pistol who comes of age in the Roaring Twenties, right before The Great Depression.

Book 2 (working title Far Above Rubies) will be about the eldest O’Connor brother, Sean whose love interest will be—guess who? Emma, Charity’s gentle and scarred friend from Dublin!

And then book 3 (working title Beside the Still Waters) details the story of the younger O’Connor son Steven, during the exciting era of speakeasies, dance marathons, gangsters, G-men and era criminals like Bonnie & Clyde and John Dillenger. Steven will be a tall, brooding G-man-type modeled after Elliot Ness, a la Robert Stack from the Untouchables. I’m 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 will blow my readers away!

(Wow, Julie you are going to take us amazing places I'm sure. This sounds amazing. I'll be praying that the Lord blessings you with gems to put in these stories that only He can give you. I didn't expect you to go to these places! I look forward to see how all this works out!!)

4. Was it easier for you to write the third book in this series or the first?

Oh, it was MUCH easier to write the first book (A Passion Most Pure) because I wasn’t sold yet so I could take my sweet time with no deadlines to meet. Hard as it may be to believe, it was incredibly easy to write both A Passion Most Pure and A Passion Redeemed—sheer pleasure, each of them, especially Charity’s story (almost 500 pages), which I literally pounded out in two months while working part-time.

Now the third book in the series, A Passion Denied? Uh, absolutely murder to write, primarily because at the time I was reading a book by an author that I absolutely LOVE and felt so inadequate next to her. I’d read a chapter in her book, then go sit at my keyboard and feel like puking on what I’d written. So I literally “fasted” that author for six months and prayed my heart out for God to help me write the book He wanted me to write. And He did! I’m happy to say that my editors and most of my family and friends like A Passion Denied the best of all three books in the series, so that is a HUGE relief!

5. Did you have any say in the covers for the three books that you have written? Please explain. Where the working titles for these books?

Trust me, years of prayer with my prayer partners went into the covers (and the titles) for all three books in The Daughters of Boston series, so I honestly feel they are anointed. As far as my input, I have been blessed to have a lot of input into my covers (now, my publisher, Revell? Uh, not so blessed!). For A Passion Most Pure, the Faith’s hair was originally down, which looked more like a prairie romance, so I explained that it needed to be up since this was 1916 Boston, and my artist graciously complied. I also asked her to make Faith’s hair more red and her eyes more green, which she also did.

But the most important change was with Collin’s picture. The cover art originally had this namby-pamby picture of Collin and I almost started crying. I asked my artist if she had any other shots, and she said only one, but that everybody at Revell thought he looked too angry in that shot. I asked her to send it to me anyway, and WOW, it was exactly the look I was going for. Collin IS angry because he wants the heroine, but he can’t have her, so the smoldering look conveyed the romantic tension in the book.

On book 2, the hero’s hair was slicked down and a bit too long, making him look like a pompous English dandy, so I begged my artist husband (God bless him, he lives with a high-maintenance maniac) to lengthen the model’s chin, trim his sideburns and give him unruly blond hair. We even spent 30 minutes scanning the Internet for the perfect hairstyle (a celebrity who shall remain nameless), which Keith slapped onto the hero’s head. Ahhh … MUCH BETTER!! So I sent my husband’s version to Revell, and they agreed to duplicate it. Oh, and since Charity is supposed to be well endowed, I actually had the nerve to ask Revell to “endow” her a bit more, which they did! :D

And working titles for these books? Well, initially the series was the Wind of God Series and A Passion Most Pure was A Chasing After the Wind from Ecclesiastes 2:26, A Passion Redeemed was Chaff before the Wind from Psalm 83:13-16, and A Passion Denied was On the Wings of the Wind, Psalm 104:1-4. Because each of these Scriptures were intricately woven into the fabric of its particular story, each appears at the beginning of its specific book.

(Hey Julie, I really liked the title names for your books. Thanks for sharing. It really gives a deep insight into you and your first books!)


1. Your find yourself in a life threatening situation and you need someone to save you, who would you pick? You can use anyone from a movie star to a fictional character in a book or anything in between).

Mmm … well, if we’re talking romantic fiction, I would say Jamie Fraser, the hero from one of my favorite author’s books, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series, because he is an incredibly strong character who saved himself and his wife from some pretty hairy situations in 1600s Scotland. But if you’re talking about reality, no contest—Jesus Christ, hands-down! :)

2. If you had all the time in the world and just as much money what would you do and why?

Grin. Exactly what I am doing now—writing books for God … uh, except I’d be doing it in a much cleaner house and a much more private office! And I’d definitely would NOT allow myself to be under the gun with deadline so that I could take more time for things I love to do like biking with my husband, watching movies with my daughter, gardening and traveling to warm, secluded beaches.

3. What are your favorite books of all time?

1. Gone With the Wind, 2.) To Kill a Mockingbird, 3.) Liz Curtis Higgs Scottish trilogy, Thorn in My Heart, Fair is the Rose and Whence Comes a Prince, 4.) Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion trilogy.

4. If you had 24 hours to hang out with anyone dead or alive in the history of the world who would you pick and why? What would you do?

Are you kidding??? Jesus Christ. Because I SO want to get to know Him better and better! I would love to sit at his feet like Mary (of Mary and Martha fame) did and soak in His love, wisdom and peace.

5. What is your favorite restaurant to have breakfast at? What would you order? What is your favorite place to have dinner? What would you order?( Ok, money is not a factor here -Lets dream!!)

Favorite restaurant for breakfast is I-Hop because I love, love, LOVE their really light pancakes (the lighter the better!).

And for dinner? Citizen Kane’s steakhouse in St. Louis, which is where I make my husband take me on my birthday every year.

Same order every time—shrimp cocktail for appetizer, then filet mignon with béarnaise sauce (yum!!), baked potato with sour cream and butter and salad with Mayfair dressing (the best I’ve ever had). Gee, Nora, thanks—now I’m hungry … :D

Boy Julie, now I'm hungry too. I'll have to check out that Steak House if ever I'm your way. Sound yummy!! Thanks Julie for hanging out with me today and letting my readers get to know you a little better. You are a blessing to me friend. I look forward to meeting you in person June 22nd at the Life Way Mall of GA store. We are going to have so much fun at book club. :D

Traveling mercies on your journey to Atlanta. See you June 22nd at Book Club - Hey, I like the sound of that.

Blessings on your writing adventure!!

Nora :D


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