Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The 2nd Most Entertaining Books of 2008 are...

The 2nd Most Entertaining Books of 2008 are
"A Passion Most Pure" & "A Passion Redeemed"
by Julie Lessman

Readers - let me preface this interview by saying that my personal opinion of this book is that it is an absolute classic and we will be reading about the O'Conner family for many years and these are the kind of books that you will save on your shelf and pass on to your daughters and granddaughters. Legacy books this classic do not come along very often - at all... so don't pass up the opportunity to get to know the O'Conners and of course - Julie Lessman...

Julie blew me away with A Passion Most Pure and I really didn't think she could ever top it. I mean A Passion Most Pure was so fresh and new, it is like Little Women for 2008 - an epic saga that through the next books in the series will allow us to follow and continue to fall in love with the O'Connor family. We follow Faith closely in the first one and in A Passion Redeemed we follow her horrible, awful, dreadful sister Charity. Did I mention that she was basically the villianess in the first book? No, well she was though maybe vixen is a better word for it. At any rate I wasn't sure I really wanted to follow Charity and get inside her head. But I went for it and like I always say, there are 2 sides to every story and that holds true here.
I must
be careful because I don't want to give away anything that would spoil it for you, but let me just say that I told Julie I didn't think she could pull one over on me with this book - but she did it again - the ending was fantastic! So come meet Faith and now Charity and I can't wait to join up with the O'Connors again soon and get to know Beth really well too!

Julie Lessman is a debut author who has already garnered writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She is a commercial writer for Maritz Travel, a published poet and a Golden Heart Finalist. Julie has a heart to write “Mainstream Inspirational,” reaching the 21st-century woman with compelling love stories laced with God’s precepts. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law. A Passion Most Pure was her first novel.

1) When I got to read your first book "A Passion Most Pure," I thought for sure I had discovered a new Jane Austen or Louisa May Alcott. I was captivated by the writing style, the setting and most of all the characters. In the O'Connor family, is there one character that you really identify with the most?

Probably Faith, and then Charity, but there’s definitely a part of my personality in each of the three sisters in the series. Faith, the sister heroine of A Passion Most Pure, is my spiritual self. Faith has an intimate relationship with God—she talks and prays to Him as naturally as if He is her best friend, but she gets angry with Him too. You might say she (and I) are emotionally engaged with the God of the Universe—we laugh with Him, tear up at His goodness to us, and worship Him with all of our hearts.

Charity, the sister heroine of Book 2, is my rebellious and “passionate” self, before I came to the Lord. I was a wild child of the seventies who, like Charity, mistakenly thought lust was love. Thank heavens that Jesus got a hold of me (as he does Charity in Book 2), to teach me that real love has HIM at the center!

Lizzie (or Beth), the sister heroine of Book 3 is my dreamer self. Lizzie is a bookworm bent on fairytale romance, just like I used to be as a little girl, sneaking downstairs to watch romantic movies after my parents went to bed. In her story, Lizzie has to learn (just like I did) that true romance, the kind that really satisfies, comes from following God’s precep
ts, not the world’s.

2) In book #1 we get to fall in love with Faith as she struggles seeing her sister dating the man she has always loved. You have been criticized for having a little too much "passion" when it should be all "pure." I personally think it’s some of the more realistic romance I've ever read. But I'm sure a little criticism is nothing to a self-confident writer like yourself, you just let all that slide right off your back, right???

Grin. Uh, no. In fact, when I got my first 1-star review on Amazon that led off with the line, “This is simply a horrible book …”, I cried all the way out of work. This reviewer thought I had crossed the bounds of passion in a Christian novel, and for one, brief, awful moment, I thought I had missed God. But then He showed me that I was writing these novels for women like me – women with a passion for romance AND a passion for God. Yes, I wanted real romantic tension and passion in the books I read, but I also wanted God in the center of it, something I couldn’t seem to find in either the secular market OR the Christian market. So I decided to write my own, taking the romantic tension I so loved in books like Gone With the Wind and lacing it with God’s precepts. My books are not for everyone, but I am hoping they will reach some women trapped in today’s amoral society with the very real message that God is the true author of romance.

3) I believe that in order to really move you a book has to be something that people will really love or hate, it has to bring forth gut-wrenching emotions. You have accomplished that. I loved Faith and really detested her sister (and rival) Charity. I didn't think I would ever like her – you told me I would when I read book #2, A Passion Redeemed. You were right to a certain extent, Faith is still my favorite but now I do at least like Charity. I think part of the reason I didn't like Charity originally is because she reminded me a lot of myself. For that reason alone I loved seeing the redemption that Charity receives. Did that stem out of your own life at all?

Unfortunately, very much so. My father used to call me an “angle shooter,” which is what Charity was – a manipulator bent on getting what she wanted. I never saw myself that way, but the sting of my father’s rebuke branded me nonetheless. Like Charity, my relationship with my father was not good, so you might say I grew up in a very dysfunctional family where I did not feel loved.

My “redemption” into Christ was not as traumatic as Charity’s, to be sure, but it was similar in that I was seeking love through lust. At the age of 23 I was a brand-new Christian who was still intimately involved with my boyfriend. When my spiritual mentor confronted me with my sin, I remember screaming at her in the work cafeteria, saying that “if God thought I was going to give up the only love I have ever had, He was dead wrong.” I basically told her that if God wanted my boyfriend out of my life, let God do it. And, oh my,
He did! My boyfriend dumped me so fast, that I was totally devastated. So much so that a Christian couple had to keep me for the weekend to prevent me from calling or going to see my boyfriend. It was during this dark time that I finally bent my knee to God and allowed Him to heal my life.

4) The O'Connor family has more children, how many of them will we get to follow in books?

There are six O’Connor children in all – four daughters and two sons – and each one will have their own story. Book 1 of the next series will be the story of the youngest daughter, Katie, which will be 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 guess who … Emma, Charity’s scarred friend from book 2!!), and then Steven, all 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 … you know, 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 and pray will blow readers away!

5) Did you ever imagine that your series would be so well received? How amazing is that for you?

Not in a million years. Keep in mind that after I wrote book 1, “A Passion Most Pure,” I had no earthly idea if it was any good or not. I knew I liked it, of course, but I honestly had no clue that anybody else would. My sisters enjoyed it, but they are blood, so I was never really sure how the public would receive it. It still stuns me today when I receive e-mails that use the words “amazing” writer.” Say what??? It pretty much stuns me, even now, which is good because it just underscores something I already know—God is the source and substance of any talent I may have, and I could NEVER do it without Him.

6) I see a lot of reviews of your books where readers say that you have reinvigorated the historical fiction genre for them. And my personal opinion is that they are books that deserve to sit on the same shelf as "Little Women." With that being said, where can readers find you online?

Thank you SO much for your kind words, Janna, and YES, I absolutely LOVE hearing from people who have read my books. I feel as if they are more like friends than readers. Let’s face it, we’re all women (at least mostly … I do have some male readers, which is a hoot!) who love a stirring romance heavily laced with God’s precepts, so for me, hearing from my “friends” seems more like a big, wonderful club of like-minded Christians. That said, I encourage anyone who wants to get in touch with me to do so by sending an e-mail through my Web site at I would LOVE to hear from you!

Thank you again, Janna, for the honor of being on your “list.” I pray a blessed 2009 for you and your family and all the readers of your blog.


Julie has agreed to give away a copy of whichever of the first 2 books the winner requests. So if you don't have the first one you can start there, but if you have that one then you can get the second one. So you know the rules...

1) Leave a comment telling me if a book cover (like the amazing covers Julie has) makes a difference in whether you purchase them or not, along with your email address and you get 1 entry

2) Blog about this giveaway yourself and leave another comment here and get 2 entries

3) Tell someone else about this interview with Julie and when they leave a comment with your name in it you will receive 3 entries

4) Become a blog follower (on the left of my blog you can do that) and receive 1 extra entry


darbyscloset said...

I am a follower!
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

darbyscloset said...

I would like book #2!!! Yahoooo!
Yes the books cover does make a differance to me. I particularly do not care for books with pictures of real people on them in place of the characters....I like to vision my characters my way and I feel that this character involement attaches the reader to the they have something at sake. Lessman's covers are beautiful (there aren't the human faces I was referring to).
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Anna W. said...

I would love either of these books! I haven't read the first one yet, but it's been on my WL for a long time!

I love visuals, so I really enjoy great covers, even though, if it's a good book, I'll read it without a pretty cover if need be. Still, I love the ones with beautiful covers!

Anna W.

Gordon & Meredith Hatcher said...

As I have mentioned to Julie in an email, I love the stories of each character's life. I relate so well to Faith, but know my own personal Charity... so the story rings so true in my life. Though it wasn't so specifically spelled out, Psalm 37:5 shouts out at me from this series, "Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act." WHAT A PROMISE!

Donald James Parker said...

I don't normally care about a book cover. Wisdom dictates that you can't judge a book by its cover. However I have to confess that female beauty does attract me. The cover of A Passion Most Pure got my attention. I still didn't pull the trigger on buying the book until I got to know Julie and found out that the author is a real jewel. The second cover was even more stunning. There are a lot of beautiful book covers out there. There has to be some significant content between the covers to justify making the purchase - especially at today's prices.
Donald James Parker
Author of Reforming the Potter's Clay

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Great interview! Julie, it was great getting to meet you in person in Minneapolis. I'm also on your newsletter list. I've read and own #1, I own #2 and it's on my TBR pile, but I do not have #3.

Keli Gwyn said...

Great interview, Janna and Julie.

Yes, book covers do make a difference. Since I love historicals, the title and cover are the first two aspects of a book to capture my attention and let me know a book is one I may be interested in reading. Unless I know the author, I probably won't turn the book over to read the back if the title and cover haven't grabbed me.

Julie, your covers are beautiful. Whoever designed them did an awesome job. Of course, your books are now in the "I'll read anything she writes" category, so the covers are just a bonus.

Sherry K said...

Yes...a book cover can make me want to read a book or pass it up. It's what sells you first. And you are correct that Julie's book covers are amazing!

Sherry K


Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

I forgot to mention that if I don't know the author or read his/her works, then the cover is very important in getting me to pick it up and read the back cover blurb. If I like that, then I flip open to the first page and test read some more. For this reason I prefer to buy books in the bookstore, but if I can't find the time to get by the bookstore, and I know I want a book, I order it online and have it delivered right to my door.

Ashli Hitchens said...

I usually do not let the cover of the book determine which ones I will read. But when A Passion Most Pure came out the cover GRABBED my attention. From the first page I was hooked-line and sinker- into O'Connor land! Julie is such a gifted writer and her passion for God pours out in her words! She is such a blessing!

Nora St. Laurent said...

Julie says "I was writing these novels for women like me – women with a passion for romance AND a passion for God. Yes, I wanted real romantic tension and passion in the books I read, but I also wanted God in the center of it" and I totally agree with her. I'm not a history buff but was quickly drawn into A Passion Most Pure and began really not like Chasity. They had some real issues.

The More I know about Juilie the More I have grown to love her and her books. They are keepers. May the Lord continue to bless you with His stories my friend.
Nora St.Laurent :D

Nora St. Laurent said...

One more thing - I do think a book cover makes or breaks a book. I work at a book store and see this at work all the time. Many people won't pick up a book to even look inside of the book if the cover doesn't grab them. Covers are very important to have people pick up the book in the first place.

Nora :D

Nora St. Laurent said...

last thing I promise. I'm a follower and I have posted this giveaway on my blog. I love Julie!!


Charity Banks said...

Let me just start by saying that I love these books. I am now reading A Passion Most Pure for the third time, waiting in anticipation for book #3 to come out in May. It was a little bit difficult for me to read book number one when I started it the first time, because you see, my name is Charity. It was so hard to read a book where all the characters hated the girl with my name (and for me to hate her too) But I got over it, and as I said, I love these books so much. And I love being able to get the latest news about these books via Julie Lessman's newsletter I get through the email.

Book covers used to mean everything to me. I was the stereotypical "judge a book by the cover" because I would only buy and read a book that had a cover that attracted me. I am trying to over come that now and branch out, but I will say that the cover of A Passion Most Pure is what attracted me in the bookstore because this was an author I had never heard of so I had no reason to be looking for her new book. I think her covers are very fitting for her stories. My sister and I have had arguments about whether or not the man on the cover of A Passion Redeemed is really what Mitch should look like, but I went back and read the description in the book and that is exactly what it says he looks like, and that is kind of what i see in my head.

these are great great great books, I recommend everyone read them!! (and I would love to have signed copies of all three!)

Tamara Hamel said...

A beautiful cover always catches my attention, even if the writer's name does not. After reading Julie's first two, I would buy her books sight unseen. I don't need to know the title or read the back cover either - really - they are that good!

Carolynn W. said...

I absolutely adore this author, her books have taught me so much about God and about myself. I love her to bits. And so do all my friends and famliy..I already have these 2 books but they are being passed around so much, they might not look like much when they come back to me. So...selfishly :) I would love to win them again and have a copy just for me! :)

I cannot wait for the third book, to read Lizzie's story! The covers of Julie's books are gorgeous and that definitely makes me notice a book more and has a say in me purchasing it.
Thanks for the chance to win!

Carole said...

I confess to being easily drawn in by a book cover, and Christian fiction covers are some of the best I've ever seen. Whether shopping in a store or online, the cover makes me look into a particular book. And the artist has done an incredible job with Julie's books.

I am a blog follower and I also receive Julie's newsletter. Thank you so much for this giveaway!

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Lora Lease said...

I always look at the cover of a book, and am more apt to pick it up if it draws my attention in some way.

Anonymous said...

Book covers ALWAYS make a difference for me. If I don't like it, I wouldn't read/buy the book (which could be a bad thing lol). Love Julie's covers. I don't have book #2!

PS: I'm a follower :D

Purely Sony said...

Let me first say that I am a Julie Lessman fan. Passion Most Pure is one of my favorite books! I own book 1 and 2, but I would love to own a sign copy. I am patiently waiting for book 3; I can’t wait to read about Lizzie.

Book Covers actually don’t make a difference if I purchase them or not. A cover may draw me to look at it, but it is not the deciding factor if I want to buy it or not.

Great interview btw! :-)

Anonymous said...

Book covers have some influence on my purchases, but my main concern is content :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!


Anonymous said...

I blogged about the giveaway :

Anonymous said...

I'm following you on Blogger :)

Autumn said...

Yes, the cover of a book does make a huge impact on whether or not i read it, but also the title really grabs me too. I loved the title A Passion Most just really grabbed my attention, because i think a lot of christians today are afraid of passion in relationships. But Christ had a passion for us..a passion to save us from our sins. Anyway, i love Julie and her books! ~autumn
P.S. Thanks for all the prayers Julie! I passed my test! :)

Violet said...

Oh please do enter me too. I am a follower now (google reader)

I totally judge a book by a cover. I have bought quite a few books based solely on the cover and luckily none of them have been bad.

I love the covers of this series.

Gin said...

Book covers do draw my attention, then I'll decide if i want to read it by reading the description, a review, or if I like the author.

The Daily Bee said...

I am a huge fan of Julie's! I can't wait until Book #3... counting the days.

I was told about all this by Purely Sony (who left a comment) and, of course, Julie's newsletter.

AND - To ensure that I get as many entries, lol, I am posting a link on blog. =)

Sydney said...

I think book covers DEFINITELY play a part in whether I will read a book or not. I mean, it's not a deal breaker necessarily, but a boring or juvenile book cover makes me not want to read a book. Although you do hear the saying, 'don't judge a book by it's cover', and sometimes I'll try to give a book the benefit of the doubt; especially if it's by an author I love, or if it comes recommended by a friend.

Thanks for writing about Julie; I hope lots of people will get exposed to her. Her writing is phenomenal!

JeanS said...

A book cover does influence me in that it can grab my attention, but the description of the story or the fact that I like a particular author is what determines if I buy a book or not.

JeanS said...

This giveaway is a great idea! I have a signed copy of book #1, and would love a copy of book #2. My daughter gave me book #1 as a gift. We both work at Julie's previous employer and she was here for a book signing!

Hannah said...

I keep telling everyone who reads with me..that I love these books!! Cover to cover.. I am a mom of four girls so I need the brake mentally and these books give me that plus make me laugh about what is to come in the future with my little ladies.. thank you!

jlf131s said...

I think this giveaway is a great way to support Julie's books! I don't currently have either book because I discovered them at my local library, so this would be a wonderful way to start my collection!
I believe these are timeless books that can be passed on to future generations as the Jane Austens and so on.
Once I started reading these books I could not put them down! They full of surprises and make you feel like you know the characters personally.
These are by far the best books I have read in years!

jlf131s said...

Yes, book covers are very important to me. When I go to a bookstore or the library looking for a new book, the cover is the onlyl thing I have to draw my attention to them.
Julie's books have beautiful covers that drew my attention right off!

waiting4myprincecharming said...

Oh my goodness! I absolutely LOVE these books! I picked up a "Passion Most Pure" because first the cover interested me...I must say covers of books really do influence me in whether or not I purchase a book. I've ALWAYS LOVED historical fiction and when I saw the book(hook #1), read the back(hook #2) I was like, "Ok I'm TOTALLY getting this!" I've been hooked ever since! I've been telling family members and friends ALL about these books because they are a MUST read! I've gotten my best friends, grandma and Aunts DYING for more! When they asked about the 3rd book I told them that it wasn't due out until May and they said "WHAT!?! We have to wait that long!" haha Needless to say it has become a favorite in my family and friends circle. Some people that have read the first book don't want to read the 2nd when I suggest it because like the same reason for many readers....they despised Charity...thankfully I have been able to convince them that its worth reading and they LOVE them!!! God has definitely blessed Ms. Lessman with a WONDERFUL gift! Thank you for using your talents for the LORD! Can't wait for #3!

Julie Lessman said...

OMIGOSH!!!!!!!!! The last time I checked comments this morning, there were only three, so I went back to writing book 4 (Katie's story), thinking I'd wait for a few more before I responded with my own personal comments. But first, I sent out an e-mail to my newsletter list, thinking maybe I could stir up a little action in this contest. I am STUNNED to come back three hours later and find 31 comments!!! I honestly had NO idea I would get that much response.
HOLY COW, thank you ALL so much!!

I normally like to respond to every comment, but if I do now, I won't get any writing done and I am already two months behind on my March deadline for book 4 (book 1 of the next series), so please, PLEASE forgive me!!

I know and love so many of you guys, and many of your comments brought tears to my eyes. Please know that I am deeply grateful for the support of each and everyone of you -- ESPECIALLY my newsletter friends -- I love you guys!!

Off to O'Connor Land to stir up trouble for Katie ...


Anonymous said...

I definitely think the cover helped me pick it out. I love reading, and I've heard over and over that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but I'm generally not going to get a book with a cover that doesn't interest me. This one caught my attention right away, and I ended up loving the books!

Gabriella Smith said...

Wow I can honestly say that I of course enjoy beautiful covers but they most definitely are not the determining factor in which books I purchase. I absolutely love Julie’s entire books thus far they truly bless me her passion for God is so evident within her writings. She makes a great balance between a passion for the romance part and a passion for the true romance with God. I believe her books will continue for generations to come, influencing not only women but also all who read them she is truly an inspiration of how a heart truly sold out to the almighty will not only produce good fruit but also can be a difference in a hurting and dying world. I can't wait to see how much God will continue to use her. Thanks for your time. Keep on keeping on. from Gabriella Julie lessman's biggest fan :)

Joetta Raber said...

The book cover is a draw - but, it's the words inside that make all the difference! My daughter and I LOVE these books and can't wait for the next one to come out!

Ruth Dell said...


Many thanks for an interesting interview.

Yes, the book cover does play an important role in my choice of a book to read, especially if I haven't read any of the author's books.

Please enter me in the drawing for the first book if this competition is open to international readers.

Thank you

Ruth Dell

Joetta said...

Thanks for blogging this interview... my daughter and I are the biggest fans of Julie Lessman and look forward to reading her new book... I enjoyed the "behind the scenes" look!

Anonymous said...

yes the cover totally makes a difference in whether i pick up the book, but the words make the final decision :)

ReadingRobin said...

Yes, I need a good cover. And I love it when there are pictures of the characters on the cover so I can get a visual of those I am reading about. Although it is not a must, imagination needs to peaked too!
I would love to win book 1,
cmrobin at bellsouth net
I subscribe to Julie's Newsletter!!

Paige said...

I absolutley love Julie Lessman's books! I first noticed A Passion Most Pure in Borders most likely because of it's awesome cover! I usually look at a book because of the cover if I haven't read any of the authors books before. For these books I'm glad I did!

Being a teenager who loves romance novels I had been trying to find a romantic novel that my mom would approve of and one that I would be satisfied with. And I found it in A Passion Most Pure! Not only was it a great romantic read but because the characters seek God first(or most of them) in how they act in their love lives(or lack there of) made it a book that teaches you something in the process. I can't wait until Lizzie's story comes out in May! I would love to be entered in the drawing please.

Thank you for the interview!

Nise' said...

I just finished A Passion Redeemed and am still deciding if I like Charity! I loved it because it was such a roller coaster ride of a book.

Book covers have attracted me, but I don't think I have rejected a book because of it's cover.

I am so excited the Emma will be getting her own book!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved the covers! I don't think so to speak that I would judge a book by its cover but if I did, Mrs. Lessman's books would definately catch my eye!

JennMaddie said...

I love Julie's books! Once I started, I kept on going until the end and then wished there was more!

Books covers are important. Seeing Julie's covers made me assume they were historical fiction thus I wanted to read them. I love historical and romance all rolled into one!

Looking forward to Book 3!!

I would like book 1,

PS I subscribe to Julie's newsletter.

Anonymous said...

my e-mail is forgot to list it in the other blog :) have a wonderful day everyone! -Jacie

Anonymous said...

Book covers definitely make a difference for me on whether I'm interested in the book or not. The cover of Julie's first book is actually what caught my attention and made me want to read it!

Anonymous said...

I love both of the books and would love to own them. Yes, a book cover does make a difference, or at least to me! You are able to picture what the charcter might look like, what the setting might look like. I love Julie Lessman's covers, they are historical but also mordern. I can't wait for the other books to come out.

Paige said...

I forgot to write in my last comment that I subscribe to Julie's newsletter.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely love your books!! I can hardly wait for the next one to come out. I do think the cover makes a difference. I like to see how Julie pictures the characters in the book. And it helps me to picture the era she is writing about, in my mind. Her covers are great!!

Keriann said...

You are an amazing writer and I enjoy 100% of your books!! I think that Book 3 sounds pretty good to have... :) Anyways, Julie, your covers are absolutely amazing, but they aren't really the deciding factor when I buy them, I usually read the first couple pages, and the back... and every time I read a book I have a movie going on in my head, me it doesn't make a difference... :) As you already know Julie....I have read both of your books...which are very romantic, and unpredictable :) Better than Karen Kingsbury or Lori Wick :) :) YOU ARE AWESOME JULIE!! And your covers are GREAT!

Lindsay said...

I love your books!!! I can't wait for the next book to become available! I think that book covers have a major impact on whether or not the book is purchased. Just the other day I was browsing the book store looking for something that really stood out and the main thing I was looking at was the covers and titles. Julie's books have covers that just stand out in a "crowd" and that's actually how I found the first book in the series.

Lindsay said...

I want to thank Julie Lessman for sharing her wonderful stories with all of us!!! I really enjoy history and when I found these books I was very excited! I haven't been able to find any books that interest me as much as these and as I said earlier I can't wait until more of them become available!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I have read both your books and I love them. I have a hard time putting them down. Can't wait for the new one to come out.

Julie Lessman said...

WHOA, BABY, more incredible comments!! I can't keep up, but at least I did get a scene done in Katie's story -- the first new scene I've written in almost two months!! Thank you, God

And I am soooo sorry I can't respond to everyone, but I would like to respond to Charity's comment about whether or not the picture of Mitch on the cover of A Passion Redeemed is how I pictured him or not. GREAT question, and one I have been dying to answer. The ONLY thing I don't like about my covers is Mitch's picture on book 2. I actually picture Mitch in my mind as being a bigger man, more muscular and almost overpowering when he walks into a room. He should have a more chiseled and determined jaw, which if I would have had my way, he would have.

You see, my husband is an artist and when Revell sent me the original Mitch, he looked like a pompous English dandy because his hair was slicked back. So I had my hubby lengthen his chin and put new hair on him (taken from a picture of a movie star who shall remain nameless), and that seemed to help. Unfortunately, my publisher thought his chin was too defined, so they cut it back some, which to me, made Mitch look a bit weak. But oh well, it's the image inside your brain that really counts, right?


MJ said...

Yes, I often judge a book by it's cover!!!

MJ said...

I subscribe.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love these books! I've already read through a Passion Most Pure 3 times, and I still cry, its so good! =) And, I love Charity's story and seeing her transformation too. I'll admit, what first attracted me to these books is the cover. I was browsing through a Christian bookstore, and the cover for A Passion Most Pure caught my eye.I bought it, and I've been hooked ever since. I can't wait to hear Beth's story!

B said...

I like book covers that are pleasing visually, but I don't think I really associate the people on the cover with the characters I envision in my mind. I am a follower of the blog and I would like the 1st book should I win.
sbsalzer at gmail dot com

dscribble88 said...

I Love these books!!! Julie is a wonderful writer, and she blesses me so much with her work. I completely agree about the book covers. To be Honest the book cover to A Passion most pure, was so beautiful that was the reason I picked it up and read the back, and then after that I was hooked of course!!! :)

Stacie said...

I don't really pay attention to the covers and usually I will just read the back of the book to get the description. I like to use my own imagination as to what the characters look like anyways.

Stacie said...

I follow.

Sophie said...

well yes they do! hi my name is sophie and my amazing friend autumn suggested your books to me! I cant wait for your next book to come out! It will be like a birthday present.

bigguysmama said...

Julie, I'm soooo excited that there are so many comments here! You keep pluggin' away at Katie's story!

Don't add me to the contest, just wanted to let you know I've added this link to the rest of the links that I have to your contests, Janna. I have it on the side bar of my blog.

Blessings you guys!

~Mimi B

bigguysmama said...

Almost forgot to comment about book covers. They totally matter to me, if I haven't read any reviews or heard from others about a certain book. I consider it to be a "first impression". There's not one specific type I like. Right now I'm reading "Hood" by Stephen Lawhead and LOVE the cover of it. It's completely different than Julie's, which I absolutely ADORE all 3 of them.

For me the cover gives me a feel for the book. It kind of tells me what the book will be like before I read the back.


Tammy A said...

I would say the cover definately helps me to read a book. It is the first thing I notice and gets me an idea of how the book will be.

I cannot wait to read all the books not only in this series but the next as well. I love the family and the real way Julie portrays them.

Thank you for giving me many hours of enjoyment.

squiresj said...

As a newsletter reader, I am eligbile to win all three books. I must say I truly enjoyed this post. Jane Austin and Louisa May Alcott make it sounds like something I truly would enjoy. An English teacher started me out reading Little Women when I wasn't even in school yet. She gave me one of the classic copies which my brother now has to go with His Joe's boys and other one so he could have the whole set.
Even if it is a book I will want to keep on my shelf, then it will become one for sharing group at church. I have 5 women now I pass books around to and they come back to me. Others I use for gifts and have truly been blessed and blessed others as well. I believe authors like you have to be passed around so others will know you are out there and be blessed to.
I also write reviews of every book I read.
God Bless.
jrs362 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

I love those covers! When I look at covers it does make a HUGE difference if I choose to read them.

This book sounds really good and I don't have either one yet. Please enter me:)


Becky C. said...

Oh, I would love to win the book one!

I can't really say, that the cover, would make me want to read the book. I might look at it, and if its nice, then well and good, but I would read the synopsis, and then that would be the deciding factor.

If these books are anything like Louisa May Alcott, I would be heaven, as she's one of my very favorite authors!

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.


Joetta Raber said...

I am a follower! I'd like to think I was Julie Lessman's #1 fan - reading some of the comments makes me realize how many of us there really are!!! Keep writing!
I'm so thankful that God has blessed us with these books!

windycindy said...

The covers are what I notice first. It is kind of like with people. We notice their physical appearance first. Please enter me for Book 2. I loved Book 1 and loved it. Many thanks, Cindi

Christine said...

I think the cover is the very first thing to grab the reader. If I don't like the cover, I don't even pick up the book. The only exception to this is if it is an author that I like already.

I found out about your book give away through Nora St. Laurent's blog - I am in her ladies bookclub at the LifeWay Christian Bookstore.

If I am chosen, I would like book one - I believe we are reading book two for the club...

Chris Gant

Christine said...

OOPS...forgot my email address...

Thanks for having a book give away!

Chris Gant

Julie Lessman said...

I just want to thank everyone who has taken the time to leave a comment -- I wish everyone of you could win, but if I did that, my husband would string me up! :)

Have a great weekend one and all! I'm going to Mom's Weekend at my daughter's college, so I will be out of pocket, but will be checking in when I can.


Alycia said...

Hi Ms. Lessman!

I just wanted to stop and say hi! I work at a Christian bookstore now and we sell your books:) I went to see if we did right after I started. I believe I have actually sold some too:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie,

Great interview... like always! As you already know, I own both of you books and I am looking forward to the third.
To answer the blog question, book covers definitely pull me toward a story. I love to see the clothing of the era that is being written about being worn on a model. When a model is used on a cover, it depicts what the author imagines a lead character looking like. I think that helps to pull a reader into the story line and gives a little glimpse of what is to come in the novel. I love seeing the art on each of Julie's book covers and I know that she puts a lot of thought into just the right expressions on the characters to make them come alive.
I'll be catching up with you soon, Julie!

Your friend,

Marta said...

I think these both look like great books...and I'd choose them based on the covers...

ForstRose said...

I apologize for taking so long to get over here and say Hi.

Bookcovers don't often make a decision for me but a mediocre cover can turn me away from a book. In most cases I want to know about the content of the book to decide on buying/reading it. The cover blurb, excerpts or having read other work by the same author with the occasional recomendation from other readers is what really gets my attention. In most cases though I am the most prolific reader and reading things before my other friends know they are out there so those recommendations are truly an occasional event.

I'm now a follower and I blogged the giveaway here with an invite to readers to enter.

So that makes 3 entries?


Erika Lynn said...

Book covers influence me a lot. Last night I was at the book store and picked up a book because i loved the cover so much. the book sounds interesting enough but i really loved the cover. thanks for the giveaway. I am also a follower

Lindsey said...

I'm afraid I am swayed by the book cover... sometimes not a good thing! We all know not to judge a book by its cover but I can't help but be drawn to the especially beautiful/interesting cover art! These are lovely covers. :-) This would be my first book by this author, and even if I don't win (sad to contemplate! lol) I'll be sure to find these books at the library. I've heard good things! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

ladyufshalott at

Lindsey said...


ladyufshalott at

Dee said...

I love these books! The covers are beautiful and the stories are too! Julie is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!
A beautiful cover on a book is often what makes me decide to purchase it. But unfortunately having a nice cover doesn't always make the book a good one.
Carolynn W told me about this giveaway. Thanks for the chance.

Ashli Hitchens said...

I am sooo excited that other people are as excited about Julie's books as I am!!! Aren't they great!?!

I used to pick books based on if I liked the cover. I don't mean that the cover doesn't matter at all. But I have read some really good books whose covers weren't all that impressive to me. Some of the covers I didn't even really like but the book turned out to be pretty good. (No issues with that on the Daughters of Boston Series though!)I thought from Julie's description in the books, I pictured Mitch more muscular and powerful too. I think on the cover Charity and Mitch still look like they fit though! But Collin's picture on the cover of A Passion Most Pure is a dead ringer for what I thought you described him as, Julie! I think all three of the covers look great together.. Especially on the poster on your website advertising A Passion Denied! I can't wait til May!!!

(I've never been on a blog's pretty fun. LOL)

Ashli Hitchens said...

Oh yeah... I posted a link on my facebook page for here and I subscribed too. Great blog Janna!

Rebecca said...

I'd love to win!
rebornbutterfly sent me!

denndonn (at) sbcglobal(dot) net

rebecca said...

Book covers are a big draw to me!
I'll pick a book up mostly based on the cover

Patty said...

If just wandering through the bookstore, a good cover is definitely important. I normally look for authorsI am familiar with, but will sometimes pick up a book based on the cover.

Thanks for the interview. I have the first book but havne't read it yet... to many in my stack, but I would love the 2nd to go along with it.

I'm also subscribing to you blog.


Martha A. said...

I would not mind being entered for either book one or #2...I do not own either one.

As far as book covers, they do not influence me too much, but if the cover looks old fashioned, I would be more likely to pick it up than if it looks like a modern romance with people in compromising positions. I like both of those covers!

Anonymous said...

Loved both books so far. I wasn't sure Julie would be able to pull off a likeable Charity, but she did it!

Martha J. Sturm

Julie Lessman said...

Hey Marta, Erika Lynn, Lindsey, Rebecca and Martha A. -- thanks so much for stopping by to leave a comment.

And Dee and Martha Sturm -- sooo appreciate your sweet comments -- thank you!

Patty -- glad you have the first book -- let me know what you think, okay?

ALYCIA, AMBER, MELISSA AND ASHLI -- some of my FAVORITE online friends -- haven't had time before now to personally comment like I like to do, but I want to thank each of you for taking the time to come by and leave a comment. You guys rock!!!


Lauren said...

1. My friend gave me this book for Christmas, so I can't say exactly how much an effect the cover has on me when shopping. I do believe the cover is absolutely beautiful, and it does look pretty close to what I would imagine them to look like, but I've just always kind of liked the older type books that don't have a picture on it. I like that feel of not knowing and having a completely mental image of the characters. For example, I kind of don't like the discrepancy there is when a book becomes a movie (but PLEASE, go right ahead with making this a movie if you could!). Yet, a lot of people may feel the exact opposite way.
2.) I really loved the first book. I just finished it, and read about 100 pages a day, which is good for a slow reader. I'm trying to more into reading, so this is really helpful to have such an engaging, teaching, influential, and encouraging book. I can't say how many people I'm going to make sure read this book. All my close friends already know it's coming their way! I think everyone should read it by they reach my age(20). I'm excited for the next book, so it'd be cool to get it in the giveaway. I'm going to go ahead and get it ASAP, but I'll definitely give it to someone else if I get another copy first! I can't wait to see Charity hopefully have a change of heart. I'm kind of excited because I really liked Mitch and Ireland! It was neat to read the interview because Gond With the Wind is my favorite book and movie, and at some points in the book, I thought of it when the women were grieving and said, "I can't think about this right now," like Scarlett would. And, of course, the Irish heritage adds to how neat it is. Thanks so much for continuing the series so swiftly!

Julie Lessman said...

Dear Lauren,

Thank you SO much for your kind comment -- and 100 pages a day is a lot for any kind of reader, so you go, girl!! And I'm with you -- I have a soft spot for both Mitch and Ireland,which is one of the main reasons that book 2 is my favorite of all three in the series, so I suspect you will like it too ... or at least I hope so!


waiting4myprincecharming said...

I'm a follower too! :) Love you lots Ms.Julie!

gabe said...

i love when book covers are beautiful!!!! and i absolutly love julies books my friend Gabriella told me to read them and this blog!!!!

Julie Lessman said...

waiting4myprincecharming -- thank you for your sweet comment -- I love you too!

Gabe, so glad Gabriella is trying to hook you in to these books -- I hope you like them.

And GABRIELLA!!!! You are too cute and too sweet -- I love you a ton too, and am so glad we are friends!


Gabe said...

hey its meeeee!!!! i love julie and my friends and family all know it!!!
its me again :) yeah julies awesome

Gabriella said...

hey hey its me!!!!!! i lvoe julie! i actually used to want that to be my name and wouldcry becase it wasnt so itsfunny my all time favorie author is named julie!!

Gabriella said...

hey hey its me!!!!!! i lvoe julie! i actually used to want that to be my name and wouldcry becase it wasnt so itsfunny my all time favorie author is named julie!!

Anonymous said...

my book club will be reading "a passion most pure" in the spring. i'm really looking forward to reading it. i'm a big fan of historical fiction and family sagas. the "little women" comparison has me very excited to get to know the o'connors. i hate to admit that i judge books by their covers, but it's true. a picture (stock photo or illustration) of a person on the cover just turns me off. somehow it makes me doubt the substance of the book. maybe it's because of all those harlequin romance novels i read when i was a teenager:) there was always a face on the cover. i'm sorry. i really do prefer some beautiful landscape artwork or an interesting graphic on the cover. but despite faith's picture on the cover, i'll be reading "a passion most pure" with "great expectations!"

Sydney said...

I left a comment earlier, on the 22nd, with my answer to the question about book covers and whether they influence whether I will read a book, or not. But I never gave you my email address: I found out about this contest through her newsletter, but have since added this blog to my subscriptions and have enjoyed the different posts since then. I love books so this is the perfect blog for me!!


Linda said...

I do not buy books by the looks of the book cover. Usually a
'steamy' cover will turn me off. I buy because of the author and how she writes. This series sounds so real it hurts. Please enter my name to the contest.

Julie Lessman said...

Gabriella -- whoops ... looks like you got caught in a blogger glitch with the repeat button, but thanks for your incredible support!

Angela -- I am so excited you and your book club will be reading A Passion Most Pure. Please let me know if you like it, okay? But if you don't ... uh ... never mind! :)

Sydney, soooo glad you found Janna's blog -- it is one of the best out there, and I subscribed to it a long time ago! You won't be sorry.

Linda, wow, I like your statement that this series "sounds so real, it hurts"!! But gosh, I sure hope it doesn't hurt too much, except in a good way! :)


hippmom said...

Even though I try not to let the cover of a book influence me, I know it does. In the case of these books I woudl probably not pick them up off the shelf. I tend to stay away from books that remind me of romance novels. But if you put these books in the same category of Jane Austen then I have to check them out!

rae said...

I'm a blog follower and I found out about this interview from Diane at
I'd love to win A Passion Redeemed.
The books covers are awesome, they'd really inspire me to buy them.

diane said...

The covers of your books really stand out, the characters are sooo attractive. I'd love the book A passion Most Pure. Pauline at paulinewollmann@gmail tol me about this interview.

pauline said...

I'm a follower an I'd love to win either one of your books. Your covers are really eye catching. I definately look at a cover when I but a book.

Julie Lessman said...

Hippmom, believe it or not, I know what you mean!! I do not particularly like seeing the heroes and heroines on the covers of books because I used to be a romance snob. I wouldn't read them because I only wanted to read "real" fiction or nonfiction. BUT, I am happy to say that God set me free at the age of 50 to write the book of my heart, which is TOTAL romance -- romance for God and romance between a man and a woman AND God. I have never been more grateful for anything in my life, other than my salvation, husband and children!!! ROMANCE ROCKS ... especially with God in the middle!!

Try it ... you may like it! :)

Rae, I hope you have read A Passion Most Pure already, since you want to win A Passion Redeemed. These are definitely a series you want to read in order due to a number of surprise that happen at the end of book 1.

Diane, SO glad you enjoyed A Passion Most Pure, and I'm anxious to see what you think of Charity's story. It's actually my favorite of all three books in the series, although my editors and friends like book 3 the best.

Pauline, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. Good luck!


Anonymous said...

Anxious to read Julie's books-they are on my stack beside my bed-I like Julie's book covers-but generally don't like pictures of people on the covers, because I like to imagine what the characters look like. In general, I think covers influence a book buyer-and am amazed how many covers often don't reflect the content of the book-wish publishers would get more cover- savy

please enter me in the contest


Anonymous said...

I would definately love to win one of your books! I loved your first one. A very good book!

biffyjn said...

I loved your first book. I would be so happy to win one. Please enter me in your contest.

biffyjn said...

By the way. The cover is the first thing that catches my eye when I buy a book. They go back on th eshelf if the cover isnt interesting. Your covers definately catch my eye.

Julie Lessman said...

Oooooh, Jolene, I'm so excited -- you have BOTH Daughters of Boston books on your nightstand??? Please make sure you read A Passion Most Pure first, okay? This is one series that MUST be read in order to get the most out of it. And, gulp, I hope they don't put you to sleep ... :)

Anonymous, I'm so glad you enjoyed book 1, A Passion Most Pure, and I'm anxious to see what you think of Charity's story. She's one of my favorite characters (especially in book 3, A Passion Denied, where she is a real hoot!), and I hope most people will love her like I do after she gets "redeemed."

Biffyjn, thank you for your comment on book 1, and I hope you like book 2 as well. As I mentioned above, not only is Charity one of my favorite O'Connors, but book 2, A Passion Redeemed, is my favorite of all three books in the series. Of course, that could have something to do with the hero ... be still, my heart!! :)

A huge hug to everyone for their kind comments and especially to Janna for hosting me on her blog! Abundant blessings to you all!


Luda Shubin said...

These are the first books I have read that combine real passion with real passion for God. I love romance and I am a Christian, so I have a hard time finding books that can combine those two things. Julie Lessman did exactly that. I am soo grateful I found her books. Now I Love the O'Conner women. They are an inspiration and are a truly fascinating read that fills all my romance needs as well as spiritual. Thank you Julie for writing, I hope you never stop!
As for the covers, I do not like faces on covers, because usually I like to imagine my own versions of the characters and how they look like. However, the covers do catch your eye when you are looking through books in the stores.
Anyway, Julie PLEASE pick me to get your free signed copies!!! I would so appreciate it, because I have a lot of sisters who would enjoy your books, and I would like to give them your stories to share... God Bless.

Julie Lessman said...


Thank you SO much for your wonderful comments -- they bless the socks off of me, especially as I sit here struggling to write book 1 of the next series (Katie's story). If you don't win this contest, keep your eye on my Web site calendar for book giveaways that I will be having in the upcoming months. You also may want to sign up for my newsletter, which sometimes features giveaways.


Anonymous said...

I never care what the book cover looks like. I read the back and if it sounds good, I'll read it. I have read the first two books in this series and LOVED them.
sarahnwoodill at hotmail dot com

Julie Lessman said...

Hey Sarah,

Thanks for dropping by! And, wow, thanks for the great comment. So glad you liked books 1 & 2. I am hoping that you will like book 3, A Passion Denied, as well. My editors and friends all like it the best, and I'm hoping it ties the series up very neatly.


Janna said...

And the winner is...