Blogaversary Celebration Final Day: Author, Julie Lessman

Wow what a fun week it has been! Not only have I had the privilege of featuring some of my favorite authors and getting to know them better, I've realized how "extra" special my blog readers are! The encouraging and entertaining comments that you've been leaving are really making my week and I'm sure the authors feel the same way! That said I want to thank you for stopping by and I want to thank Janet, Candace, Cerella, Laura and today's guest, Julie for all the hard work they put in this week and everyday writing the stories that we love to read! THANK YOU!!!!

Here's Julie!


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HAPPY FRIDAY, everybody!!! And SUPER CONGRATS to one of my favorite bloggers on her 1-year Blogaversary!! I am ecstatic to be here to help wrap up what's been a really fun week. Here's to many more years, Renee, of a great blog and wonderful reviews!

And now, ooooooooo … I get to talk about one of my favorite things -- love scenes!! Renee asked me what I think makes a good love scene, and let's face it, the answers to that question are as diverse as the genres available.

For some, it's a haunting look or a gentle touch of the hand in an Amish romance while for others (like moi!), it's Rhett hauling Scarlett off a buggy seat and kissing the daylights out of her before he heads off to war. Sigh. What can I say, I like LOTS of romantic tension in my books, whether I'm reading them or writing them, so MY answer to Renee's question of “What makes a good love scene?” would be …

DRAMA. LOTS AND LOTS OF DRAMA.

You know, the kind that makes your stomach dip … or your pulse race … or stings your eyes with tears until you have a pile of soggy Kleenex by your side? For me it's all about evoking emotion, and so I use the heck out of emotions when I write my love scenes. And as human beings, we all know there are tons of emotions from which to choose--from positive emotions like joy, pleasure and humor … to negative emotions like anger, greed, shock or guilt--the list is endless (and a LOT longer than you might think, so take a look at this WEBSITE)!

In fact, for me, the more emotions I pack into one love scene, the better. Anger is one of my favorite emotions to use because with anger, emotions are ramped about as high as you can get, and when you toss a few kisses into the mix--WHOA, BABY, the romantic tension goes through the roof, along with the old pulse! For writers who might be interested, I talk about anger and other ways to crank up the romantic tension in your novels in two Seekerville blogs I did a while back entitled “Quick, Dial 911 … We're Setting a Fire With Romantic Tension" and “A Kiss is Just a Kiss …”

Following is one of my favorite love scenes from my upcoming book, A Hope Undaunted, in which I attempted to use a LOT of emotions in an effort to elicit smiles, tears and a flutter in the stomach. Based on the list of emotions you can find in the link I posted above, you should see the following in this scene if I did it right: Elation, Hope, Joy, Pleasure, Relief, Awe, Compassion, Empathy, Humor, Playfulness, Surprise, Gratitude and Love.

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AND NOW … here's one of my favorite scenes from A Hope Undaunted, Katie O'Connor's story. I hope you enjoy it!

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it fear.

His breathing slowed and his gaze darted up, scanning the heavens. “You said you would never leave us nor forsake us, Lord, but where are you in all of this? Tillie needs you, and I need you. I've prayed for months for a good home for her, you know that, and yet there's been nothing.”

He sucked in a deep breath and sagged back into his chair, releasing the air in his lungs as thoroughly as he knew he had to release Tillie … into God's hands. “Forgive me, Lord, because I do trust you. You've never failed me, not once since I've given my life to you. So I believe you have Tillie in the palm of your hand because you've proven yourself faithful to me over and over. And one way or the other, you always answer my prayers.”

A knock sounded, and he spun around, spying Katie at the door. His lips quirked into a half smile. Well, almost always, he thought as her blue eyes peeked in.

“I'm leaving now, Luke. Is there anything you need before I go?”

Yeah, Katie, a hug would be nice.

Heat singed the back of his neck and he coughed, clearing his throat. “No, I'm good. Have fun this weekend.” His brows pinched in a frown. “Oh, sorry--are you still on confinement?”

She grinned and sidled past the door, closing it carefully behind her with a pretty blush on her cheeks. “Yes, until tomorrow night, that is, when I have my first date with Jack in over two and a half months.”

Luke forced a smile to cover the scowl in his mind. “Lucky Jack,” he said with a tease in his tone, but truer words had never crossed his lips, and suddenly the thought blackened his mood further. Over the summer, he'd made the startling discovery that Katie O'Connor was everything he wanted in a woman, and somehow he'd known it from the age of fourteen. With little or no effort on her part, she had won his affection--from a cold shoulder at the age of ten, to a teasing smile at the age of eighteen--and Luke would give anything to be more than just friends. But they had a deal, and she had a boyfriend, and Luke was a man of his word. The scowl finally won out as he looked away, intent on shoving papers into a drawer.

She hesitated. “Are you sure you don't need anything before I go? You look … tense.”

Tense? Because two people he loved were leaving his life forever? He blew out a sigh of frustration and wheeled in his chair to stare out the window. “No, Katie, go home. I'm just down about Tillie, that's all. Go on, get out of here and have fun this weekend.”

Go home to Jack, Katie Rose.

His stomach tightened at the sudden click of her heels, and shock expanded his eyes when she perched herself on the edge of his window. She crossed silky legs and leaned forward, palms flat on the sill and blue eyes sparkling with excitement. Her mouth twitched with a smile, as if a secret hovered behind those full, sensuous lips, and the tease of her proximity triggered his pulse till he thought he couldn't breathe. A gentle breeze from the window rustled her silk dress, and the scent of roses drifted in the air, warming his blood. “What's on your mind, Katie?” he asked, heat crawling up his neck at the realization of what was on his.

“The same thing that's on yours, apparently,” she said with a mysterious smile. “Tillie.”

His pulse slowed. “Tillie? What about her?”

Katie bit her lip and then grinned outright. “I have a foster family for her.”

He sat up straight in the chair, fingers gripped white on the arm. “W-what? W-where?” His words tripped over his tongue, moving faster than the hammering of his heart.

Her laughter floated in the air like the sound of hope. “A wonderful family, really--large, well-to-do, and so full of love that Tillie will think she died and went to heaven.”

He couldn't help it--tears stung his eyes. “Who?” he whispered.

Her gaze was tender as she studied him, the wetness in her eyes matching his own. “The O'Connors of Boston,” she said softly, then put a hand to her chest and blinked back her tears. “Goodness, you think she'll mind sharing a room?”

He stared, disbelief stealing the air from his lungs. And then in a jolt of comprehension, it whooshed back in, flooding his body with such joy and emotion, he thought he would faint. In one frantic clip of his heart, he swallowed Katie up in his arms and squeezed as if he would never let go, his deep laughter rumbling against her hair. “Woman, I could just kiss you,” he shouted, and then all at once his breathing stilled as he set her back down, suddenly aware of her body pressed against his, the burn of his hand on the small of her back.

Their gazes met, and heat traveled his bloodstream like alcohol, drowning all inhibition he may have felt. He saw the vulnerability in those wide blue eyes, heard the tremulous breathing drifting from those soft, parted lips, and all reason fled from his brain, disarming all good intent. In slow and careful motion, his hands cupped the sides of her face like a caress, eyes fixed on her mouth before shifting to lose himself in her eyes. He feathered her lips with the pad of his thumb. “Thank you, Katie Rose,” he whispered, “for giving me so much joy.”

He wanted to fight it, knew it should only be a kiss on the cheek, but his body seemed drugged with her. His eyelids weighted closed as he moved near like a man in a trance, compelled to graze his lips against hers. Upon touch, their shallow breathing became one as he nuzzled her mouth with his own. And then, in a ragged beat of his heart, she melted into him with a familiarity that destroyed all restraint. He clutched her body to his, deepening the kiss that just cost him a promise he'd made. “God help me, Katie, I want you--”

Somewhere in the recesses of their minds they heard it, that gruff clearing of a throat that seemed so very far away. And then harsh reality struck, and Katie jerked violently from his arms as if he had thrust her away.

“I knocked, but I guess you didn't hear it.” Parker stood with arms crossed in the open door, voice rock hard and jaw even worse.

An unnatural shade of red bled up Katie's neck and face like a thermometer registering a fever of a 105. “P-Parker … Mr. Riley … it's not what it seems. L-luke was just thanking me …”

The hard line of Parker's mouth twisted as his eyes shifted to Luke with a penetrating look. “A simple 'thank you' wouldn't have been enough?”

Copyright 2010, Julie Lessman, Revell (Baker Publishing Group)
Preorder A Hope Undaunted @
~~~~~~~~~~~

About Julie:
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 13 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction." She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever and 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.

For those who leave a comment today, you will entered in a contest to win either your choice of a signed copy of one of The Daughters of Boston books … OR an early copy of my upcoming book, A Hope Undaunted … OR a love-scene critique (one love scene or as many love scenes as you can fit in a maximum of five pages).

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~ To enter to win the book just leave a comment telling us your favorite romance novel or if you are a writer who wants to win the love scene critique, what you think is the hardest part about writing a love scene!
~You MUST leave an email address in your comment so I can contact you for your mailing address if you win! (example: steelergirl83[at]gmail[dot]com )
~U.S. residents only please!
~Contest open until March 21, 2010 at 11:59PM EST.
~One winner will be chosen for the gift set and one winner for the sampler set. Their names will be posted on this blog, and they will be notified by email on March 22, 2010 and will have 48 hours to respond or different winners will be selected.

Go HERE to enter to win Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz or a Crabtree and Evelyn sampler.

Go HERE to enter to win Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania, by Cerella D. Sechrist and a tin of Hershey Kisses.

Go HERE to enter to win Critical Care and Disaster Status by Candace Calvert

Go HERE to enter to win The Substitute Bride by Janet Dean

Go HERE to enter to win The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey and Beguiled by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand

GOOD LUCK!!!!!

Comments

  1. HEY JULIE!!! *waving wildly* How are you? Doing good, I hope! :D

    Woo-wheeeee! Is it hot in here, or what? LOVE that scene, and can't wait to read it in context with the rest of the book. Will Aug/Sept EVER get here?? *SIGH*

    Please don't enter me in the giveaway. *wink* Y'all know there is NO WAY I can choose JUST one fave romance novel...I'm not even gonna try! LOL

    It's been a fabulous week, Renee, and I hate to see it end. :( Congrats again on your 1-year Blogaversary! Keep up the great work!

    {{BIG hugs}}

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  2. Is it hot in here or is it the sizzling heat from that love scene?!?! LOL=) This week has just been so much fun, Renee! I can't believe it's almost over *sniffles*. But, everyday on your blog is just a load of fun, so, I can't really complain. LOL;)

    As for my favorite book, I don't know if I could pick just one but, my all-time favorite series would most definitely be The Daughter's of Boston. I absolutely love all three of Julie's books and I love Julie as a friend!She is just a sweetheart, who has an unmistakable passion for God, and always replies to your e-mails (though they be pesky 15 yr. olds)LOL

    Renee,Thank you, thank yoooou, for this great week! HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY, RENEE!!!=D
    Love Ya,
    Ashley

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  3. Oh! P.S.
    Please don't enter me in the giveaway. I was blessed enough to have parents who got them for me;)LOL And ditto Lori *waves*! Sept. is way just too far away for me to wait! I think God is trying to teach "us" all little patiences and long-suffering, through Julie's book. LOL

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  4. Ashely girl! You can enter to win A Hope Undaunted!!!!! I know you don't have that one yet!!!


    XOXO~ Renee

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  5. Well...I actually won AHU from Julie already but, thank you for letting me know. Cause if I hadn't, you know I would be the first to enter!*winks*
    But, why isn't Lori entering, is what I want to know.LOL=D

    Love ya, girly!
    Ashley

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  6. I loved The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. It's one of my favorite romance novels.

    Thanks for another great post and giveaway. :)

    Suko95(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. It is sooo hard to pick out favorite books. I guess my favorite romance would have to be Persuasion by Jane Austen.

    My goodness, that excerpt was steamy! I haven't read any of Julie's books yet (but I've been meaning to!), so perhaps if I win I should go for the first book in the series?

    srfbluemama[at]gmail[dot]com

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  8. I love that scene. :o) I'm not ready to face a critique and yet picking a favorite romance novel ~ that is so hard.

    If we're talking current then you know DOB is on the top of my list (I've said that many times before ~ and Collin is my favorite hero) ~ if it's classics, then Pride and Prejudice.

    leesmithwriting{at}yahoo{dot}.com

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  9. Julie, you know how to raise the heat and the stakes. Wonderful scene! With your gift for description, I can see Luke and Katie, feel their emotions, live the moment with them. This Julie Lessman fan cannot wait to read A Hope Undaunted!

    Hugs, Janet

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  10. Renee, thank you for a wonderful week at your blog! You and your readers know how to party and make your guests feel welcome. Thanks all!!! Wishing you a second year that tops this one, if that's possible. :-)

    Janet

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  11. LOVE that scene, and I can't wait to read the book! Let's see...it's hard to choose just one, but I'll go with A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers for favorite romance. ruthellenanderson (at) gmail (dot) com

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  12. Julie...you are "The Love Scene Queen"! Now, if you could just learn to love grits, you'd be just about perfect : )

    Your enthusiasm for life and love, and your true faith shines through in your great smile in all your lovely photos. You don't just embrace life...you revel in it!

    You have excelled in a very unique genre: "Spiritual Physicality". You continue to illustrate and illuminate our struggle to resolve our sensual nature with our spiritual needs. No one else writes of this struggle with such feeling and awareness. Brava!

    By the way, in appreciation for your wonderful literary legacy, I have signed you up for a life long membership in the "Grits of the Month Club"!

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

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  13. My favorite work of romantic fiction is “Ashes in the Wind” by the late, great Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. “Ashes” is a soaring Civil War love story which shows the humanity and the tragedy of both sides of the conflict. Cole Latimer is a Yankee surgeon whose compassionate nature and strong physician’s ethics benefit both “the blue and the gray”. Alaina MacGaren is a beautiful young Southern woman forced to pose as a young boy in order to survive. In her disguise as “Al”, the young cleaning boy at the military hospital, she comes to know Dr. Latimer. The beginning of their relationship is that of sparring partners who form a tentative friendship. Once they finally face each other as man and woman, a deep, abiding love begins to grow. Their passion overcomes many doubts and obstacles and finally reaches full bloom. Both of these characters went through a personal growth process as the horror of the War Between the States and its lasting aftermath unfolded. Cole’s disgust and frustration when he was unable to save a life due to military interference was deeply felt. Alaina’s desire to be seen as a lovely young woman instead of a ragged boy was palpable. An unforgettable love story.

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

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  14. Goodness, I feel like a slacker not arriving to the party until 7:15 a.m.!!!

    RENEE, thank you SO much for the opportunity to wrap up your exciting blogaversary week, and what a week it's been! Not only have you enjoyed hosting some of your favorite authors, but I've had the pleasure of joining some of mine to wish you many more years of blogging success. You go, girl!!

    LORI!!! Gosh, I've missed talking to you, girl, so I hope all is well in Georgia. And, yeah, I'm kind of excited about Aug./Sept. getting here, too, because A Hope Undaunted is my favorite book so far and I hope you think so as well. I just finished proofing the galleys yesterday, and call me a weepy mess, but I went through 12 Kleenexes reading this book. Okay, okay ... I'm the ultra emotional type of gal, I'll give you that, but still ... :)

    ASHLEY!!! Hugs and kisses your way, my sweet friend, for claiming DOB as your favorite series -- that blesses the socks off of me!! And I am SO thrilled that you have already won A Hope Undaunted through my newsletter contest. And, grin ... patience and longsuffering??? I think I may have already developed quite a bit of that on this particular novel as it has been quite a roller-coaster ride for me on this one, I can tell you that! :)

    SUKO ... Oooo, The Notebook is a good one! My favorite Nicholas Sparks novel is A Walk to Remember. Dear Lord, I think I cried all the way through the last half of that book and movie!! Thanks for stopping by to day and good luck in the contest.

    KATY ... I am embarrassed to say that I have never read Persuasion, but I hope to before I go to the big Library in the sky ... And, YES, Katy, you definitely need to start this series with the first book, A Passion Most Pure, as this is one series that needs to be read in order to get the most out of it due to a number of big surprises. Good luck in the contest!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  15. LEE!!! You are SUCH a sweetheart!! Thank you SOOO much for putting DOB at the top of your list!! It's nice to know that there are other passion queens out there like me who like to pour it on thick, both romantically and spiritually! And, girl, don't let a critique scare you any -- it was a paid ACFW critique with Tracey Bateman at my first Christian conference that really encouraged and directed me. It is SO good for we writers to get another writer's perspective on our babies, and I am VERY gentle with critiques because I wound too easily myself, trust me!

    JANET ... Well, my friend, you KNOW we have a mutual admiration society going on here between you and me ... a respect and appreciation that goes back to butting heads in the 2005 Golden Heart. Doesn't it give you cold chills (good ones, that is) to know that all four of the Inspy finalists that year are now published??? Very cool!

    Oh, RUTH, A Voice in the Wind is one of my all-time favorites as well! I actually like the Mark of the Lion Series (of which A Voice in the Wind is one of the books) by Francine Rivers even better than Redeeming Love, if you can believe that! I think it's because I just love the familiarity of characters that goes with a series. Thanks again, and here's to a win!

    VIRGINIA!!! Grin ... my first laugh out loud this morning, girl, so THANK YOU!! :) "Grits of the Month Club," eh? You're bound and determined to make a Southern girl out of me, aren't you??? Isn't it enough that Gone With the Wind is MY favorite book in the whole world??? I have to eat grits too???? Well, honey, if they show up on my Missouri doorstep, I guarantee that I WILL give them a shot ... but only in honor of you! And I have never read Ashes in the Wind (LOVE the title, though!), but I will have to remedy that after your glowing endorsement. Thank you SO much, Virginia, for your incredible support -- you are a blessing (and a good laugh!). :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  16. I am just getting into Julie's books...have #1 and plan to get them all...know they will be "favorites"!!! Please enter me! And thanks for a great week on your blog, Renee.
    jackie.smith(at)dishmail(dot)net

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  17. I am so excited about this giveaway...Julie, what an excellent scene...You are a incredible writer...I can't wait to read Katie's story.

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  18. Julie, I am such a huge fan! I LOVE the Daughters of Boston series and I'm dying to get Katie's story! So far A Passion Denied is my favorite but I know I'm just going to keep loving each one more than the last!

    Blessings
    Michelle V
    m.vasquez[at]grandecom[dot]net

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  19. JACKIE ... I am SO thrilled that you are "getting into" my books, my friend and that I am getting into knowing you! I love, love, LOVE reader friends who have the same passion for God and romance that I have -- it's such a great connection, isn't it?? Thanks again for stopping by and good luck in the contest.

    KAREN!!! Soooo good to see you here, my friend, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your support and prayers -- means SOOO much to me!

    MICHELLE!!! Girl, you are SUCH a boost for me, let me tell you! Thank you SOOO much for your great support! And I am THRILLED that you have already won a signed copy of A Hope Undaunted. I hope you like it as much as I do ... :)

    I'm heading out on errands today and won't be back till later this afternoon, so HAPPY FRIDAY to one and all and I'll check in later.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  20. I have read a lot of comments and I would have to say my favorite romance book would either be a Lori Wick book, a Jane Austin book, or Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. And I have to agree with Virginia C, Julie is pretty much the The Love Scene Queen. gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

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  21. Julie - forgive me, but did I miss something? Did I win a copy somewhere that I don't know about? (It's still early and I'm still not used to daylight savings time. LOL)

    Blessings
    Michelle V

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  22. Julie, This scene is one of my favorites, too:) You are one of the most VIVID writers I know as you pack a punch with every line! I don't call you the Queen of Romance for nothing, ya know. This has been a wonderful week and so fun to share great books and meet new readers and writers. Bless you all bunches!

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  23. I shouldn't have read that scene! Now I can't wait to get my hands on her books! I've been searching for authors who are new to me and this is one I definitely want to try!

    S

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  24. Julie, your passion for passion is addicting! I always love reading your posts because I hear your enthusiasm as if you are standing right beside me.

    I love romantic tension, too. And like so many others, it is hard for me to narrow down my favorite romance novel. I'me going to have to vote for The Secret by Julie Garwood. She is the author responsible for getting me hooked on this genre.

    In CBA, though, Dee Gist's A Bride in the Bargain is one of my new favorites. Hard not to appreciate a muscular lumberjack who tries to convince his cook he's worth marrying by taking his shirt off and washing up where she can sneak a peek. (*grin*)

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  25. Ooops. Forgot to leave my email address. Can't pass up a chance to be entered for your new book.

    kwitemeyer[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  26. EEE! I can't believe the party's almost over. =( But what a fantastic way to wrap it up with Julie's great thoughts on emotion and that terrific kissing scene! Whoo hoo!

    Thanks to Renee for featuring five of us this week - I know it was my pleasure to be here with you all.

    I think this weekend may be perfect to catch up on some reading... ;)

    Cerella D. Sechrist
    www.cerelladsechrist.com

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  27. Some of my favorite romances are by Lori Wick - her early ones. I need to reread them to see if I still think that.
    I would love to win Julie's new book.
    wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

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  28. Man! 7:42 and I am way down the list!

    Julie- AWESOME scene and I just had to laugh when I saw your comment about drama. I could have told you that! :D LOL! Seriously, awesome scene, I just love it, like I love your books, like I love you! BTW I told my aunt she HAD to get APMP while it was free for her kindle. Hope she did. :)

    Don't enter me for the book, I already own the three and I will get my copy to review through Revell so someone else can enjoy it from Julie. :)

    As far as the hardest part of a love scene to write? After reading Julie's scenes, my biggest hurdle are emotions.

    Keep it up Julie, but one little request... would you PLEASE stop the excerpts?? It is making this wait until September UNBEARABLE! UGH!! JK :)

    caseymh18(at)gmail(dot)com

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  29. Sheesh! I stay away from the computer for a few hours and what do I find when I get back? 28 comments!!! Whoa baby! Thank you all sooo much for visiting on this final day :( of my blogaversary! I already have plans for next year in the works...like maybe a WHOLE MONTH of guests? What do you think? Again thank you to my blogger friends and authors for making this week so special!

    XOXO~ Renee

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  30. Other than Julie's A Passion Denied, I would pick Though None Go With Me by Jerry Jenkins. That was a tough tearjerker.
    Please enter me. Thanks.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  31. Julie, I love your books. I read all three of them last year after the third book was released. When I read the first one, I wondered why I let it sit on my shelf for two years without reading it. The upside to that was reading all three books back to back. They were wonderful!

    I loved this teaser of A Hope Undaunted, and I cannot wait to read the book!

    My all time favorite romance has to be Gone with the Wind. I first read it when I was 10, and I've gone through 3 copies of it now.

    mchapman (at) windstream (dot) net

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  32. I love Jane Austen's books and Linore Rose Burkard's "Austen-type" books. I'd love to win one of Julie's books. Haven't read any yet, but can't wait to do so! Thanks for the opportunity!

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  33. Oops, forgot my email. Sorry!
    browncarole212@yahoo.com

    Caroline

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  34. One of my favorite authors Dee Henderson, I know she hasn't written anything in a while but I just love the O'Malley Series and I can't even count the times I have reread them. This year on my list of rereads is The Silent Governess. I really enjoyed that book and I would love to win Julie's new book. Thank you. Lourdes11743@gmail.com

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  35. Wow, I have just loved this week on your blog, Renee! I've adding so many great books and new authors to my reading list. Now Julie Lessman and A Undaunted Hope are on my list too! I don't think I have a favorite romance book, but I've really enjoyed some of the romantic suspense books by Dee Henderson, Susan May Warren and Irene Hannon. Thanks for having a blogaversary! :)

    S.bofferding@hotmail.com

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  36. What a great excerpt! I would love a chance to win this book! I'm excited to have a chance to win another one of Julie Lessman's books!

    As far as my favorite romance, I think I could never decide! There are so many Christian romances that I love. As far as Julie Lessman's books go, I loved reading "A Passion Most Pure"--especially because I read part of it my senior year of high school at the senior picnic (up in a tree!). It was a great read!

    Anyway, thanks for a chance to win! And hello to Julie! Don't know if you remember me or not, but I'm so thankful for your kind correspondence over blogs and e-mail. :)

    --"Borders Girl"

    stokes[dot]a[at]suddenlink[dot]net

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  37. My favorite romance novel..that's a tough question cause there are so many that I have really loved. But if I did have to pick one (or two) I would say Roses for Mama by Janette Oke and The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark by Lawana Blackwell. Roses for Mama is just a really sweet romance and The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark was one of those books where you, the reader, knew how the characters felt about each other but they didn't. Love those.

    Julie, I also loved A Passion Most Pure and plan on reading the rest of the books in the series. So many books to read and not enough time!

    Renee, this has been a fun week on your blog. Happy Blogaversary!!! :)

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  38. Aside from Julie's books which are recent top faves. I would have to say Dee Henderson's O'Malley series. I can't pick just one, but the guys in those books have become the "ideal" for me.

    Holly
    oceandreamerfla(at)aol(dot)com

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  39. Julie, that book cover alone is enough to make me excited to read this book! My, my, hasn't Katie grown up!!! Can't wait to see what romantic adventures you have in store for her!

    Renee, congratulations on a wonderful celebration week!

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  40. Jane Porter's "Flirting with Forty" is what got me hooked on reading romance again. I love all her books.

    I would love to read your books. They sound great.
    csdsksds[at]gmail[dot]com

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  41. Okay THIS is where we separate the girls from the ....um, girls.

    My love scenes are ...TWO PARAGRPHS, I need help.

    I love yours Julie, you are so visual.

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  42. HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY, Renee!

    And I can't WAIT to read A Hope Undaunted! Yay! Sign me up! I Love Julie Lessman's books!

    melaniedickerson at knology dot net

    ReplyDelete
  43. ADGE ... "The Love Scene Queen," eh? Well that could possibly be true in the Christian market, I guess, but only because I'm SUCH a sucker for a love scene that I tend to put TONS in my books from the get-go, not waiting till halfway through or the end of the book. What can I say? I was stunted at 12 after reading Gone With the Wind! :) And I know Jane Austin is REALLY hot right now, but I am ashamed to say that I have never read her. However, Pride & Prejudice is one of my all-time favorite movies, so does that count??? :)

    MICHELLE ... Ooops! Nope, you didn't miss something -- I did! It was another Michelle (Michelle Tuller) who won A Hope Undaunted on Casey's website a few weeks ago, and I thought it was you! I feel so bad about getting your hopes up that if you don't win this contest, Michelle, I will automatically send you a signed copy of A Hope Undaunted in August, okay? Either way, you win a copy, and all because I'm a space queen who HATES to hurt people's feelings. :) Shoot me your address (to gsus(at)charter(dot)net), and I will put you on the list, okay?

    LAURA!!! Goodness, now my husband won't be able to live with me because when an author I respect (and love!) as much as you calls me the "Queen of Romance," well, that's just like the ultimate compliment. Thank you, my friend, and I cannot WAIT to read Courting Morrow Little!

    SHIRLEY!!! Bite your tongue, girl ... because YES, you SHOULD have read that scene!! :) I am so glad it piques your interest for my books, because if you like romance, they are chock full, guaranteed! :)

    KAREN ... what an incredibly lovely thing to say -- THANK YOU!! I do tend to be a drama queen and do EVERYTHING with passion ... from brushing my teeth ... to talking people's arms off ... to writing passionate romance. It's pretty much who I am, so if someone doesn't like a lot of "passion" ... uh, they're not gonna like me! :) And three cheers for Julie Garwood for getting you into reading romance!! She's one of the perfect ones to do it, that's for sure, as is Deeanne Gist, who is a favorite of mine as well. Good luck in the contest!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  44. @ Carmen- I've never read Though None Go With me but I have seen the movie and it's awesome!

    @ Margaret- LOL me too!

    @ Michelle- I agree Gone With the Wind is one of the best romances out there!

    @ Caroline- I love love love Jane Austen and just finished read my first book by Linore about a week and a half ago and loved it! Thank you for stopping by! :-)

    @ Lourdes- I agree The SIlent Governess is definitely a book that I will be rereading too! It is sooo good!

    @ Sara- I'm glad you stopped by this week and found some new authors to read! If you haven't read Julie's Daughters of Boston series I recommend it and you don't have to wait for them to be released, they are all available now! :-)

    @ Amber- I've seen you around the blogosphere before...Border's Girl is hard to forget LOL!! Welcome to my blog!

    @ Angie- I'm glad you had fun this week, I know I certainly did! As for your favorite books Janette Oke's are some of the first CF books I've read...they're some of the best!

    @ Holly- LOL I know what you mean about becoming attached to guys in books, I do too! :-P

    @ Myra- They grow up so fast don't they? I too can't wait for the rest of Katie's story! Thank you for stopping by and following! :-)

    @ Denise- I've never read anything by Jane Porter but I do know that Julie's books sure got me hooked on "edgy inspirationals!"

    @ Tina- Hey there! Glad to see you back again! Aren't Julie's love scenes something? I've never read any of yours Tina but I'm sure they are wonderful too!

    @ Melanie- Thank you so much! I already figured that I have to celebrate anniversary #2 next year as this one has been so much fun! As for Julie's books I don't think anyone can wait for them LOL!

    XOXO~ Renee

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  45. CERELLA ... This HAS been fun, hasn't it??? I'm still hoping I win your book and the chocolate, but if I don't I will be buying both, that's for sure!

    WENDY ... I sooo agree with you about Lori Wick's earlier books -- I loved them too! Of course, it makes an author like me a wee bit nervous going up the likes of Lori Wick, but I hope you end up liking mine as well. Good luck!

    CASE!!! Grin ... yeah, I'm guessing "drama" fits my MO pretty well, or at least my family would say so because they LOVE to make fun of me ... in jest, of course ... uh, at least I think it's in jest ... :/ And thank you for your kind words and INCREDIBLE support, Casey -- it means the world to me, truly. I am THRILLED you're pushing your aunt to take Amazon.com up on their free Kindle download offer of A Passion Most Pure. Even people WITHOUT a Kindle can download it, apparently, or at least I think so! And I'll slow down on the excerpts for a while ... at least until the summer when I crank up again for the release of Undaunted! :)

    Oooo, RENEE, a whole month??? Sign me up, girl, because I definitely want to come back!! This has been SO much fun this week that next week is going to be real boring ... :/

    CARMEN (LINDA?) ... Gosh, I'll have to get my mitts on Though None Go With Me! Thanks SO much for your kind comment and for your ongoing support, my friend.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  46. MARGARET!!! How the heck are you doing, girl??? Have you sold that house yet, I hope? I've been praying ... And I love you, too, my friend.

    MICHELLE ... Move on over, girlfriend, because I'm right there with you on Gone With the Wind!! Margaret Mitchell is the lady who primed my pump to write romance, and I just wish the woman had written more books! Thank you SO much for your kind words, Michelle -- MUCH appreciated!

    CAROLINE, I am THRILLED that you want to read my books, but a word of warning ... my books are not "sweet" romances in the caliber of Jane Austen, but a bit more passionate in both the romance and spiritual departments. There is nothing over the line or against God's precepts, of course, but if a reader is used to reading Austen or Amish books, please note that my books are a bit edgier, okay? And if you decide to read them, PLEASE start with book 1 in the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Most Pure, because this is one series that is best to be read in order to get the most out of it. Thanks so much!

    LOURDES ... right off the bat I just have to tell you that I absolutely LOVE your name. Blame it on my Catholic heritage, but think it is BEAUTIFUL!! In fact, my middle name is ... are you ready?? Assumpta ... named after the Assumption of the Blessed Mother! And I love the O'Malley series, too, as well as anything by Julie Klaasen! I haven't gotten my hands on The Silent Governess yet, but I hear it's wonderful.

    Oh, SARA, Irene Hannon is a favorite of mine too!! I did a book signing with Irene last year because she lives in St. Louis like I do, and what a neat lady she is ... AND a great writer!! I don't read a lot of action/suspense, but Irene took care of that real quick. And, Sara, like I told Caroline above, since A Hope Undaunted is an ongoing saga about the O'Connor family from The Daughters of Boston series, it's best to start at the beginning with A Passion Most Pure since there are a number of big surprises that will be ruined if you read them out of order. Thanks SO much for your interest and good luck in the contest!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  47. AMBER!!! BORDERS GIRL!!! Sooooo good to see you here, my friend -- how the heck are you??? Goodness, we are going to have to try to get Undaunted in your hands so you don't have to spend your days and nights reading it at Borders again ... :) Make sure you periodically check back with my website calendar, because I will be doing giveaways from now until Sept., ESPECIALLY in the summer and August. Don't be a stranger, girl, okay?

    ANGIE ... thanks SO much for your kind comment and for coming by to enter the contest -- here's to a win! And I have to say that Janet Oke's Love Comes Softly series is the best thing on the Hallmark Channel -- LOVE it!!

    HOLLY!!! Thank you, my friend, for your sweet comment and your support. If you love the O'Malley heroes, honey, you will GO CRAZY over Candace Calvert's heroes, guaranteed! ER doctors, firemen and cops ... be still my heart!! Candace (and Dee Henderson and Irene Hannon) write some of the hunkiest modern heroes I've ever read. And don't forget to leave a comment on Candace's blog that appeared on Renee's blog this week for a chance to win one of her books. You will LOVE it!!

    MYRA!!! Oh, I just LOVE it when my Seeker buds drop by, so THANK YOU, Myra, for taking the time to say hi and wish Renee a Happy Blogaversary. Yeah, Katie is all grown up, but she's still a thorn in Cluny McGee's side ... as he is to her as well. And boy oh boy, did I have fun with that! :) By the way, I just finished reading Myra's book called Romance By the Book, and WOW ... love the pulse accelaration in that one, my friend!! I'll be writing a review this week.

    DENISE ... I have never read Jane Porter, but it looks like I will have to. I LOVE getting suggestions on great reads because believe it or not, I read about 4-5 books a month, which is a lot considering I write all the time or watch JAG with my husband!! Thank God for trips to the powder room and car trips because otherwise, my reading time would be nil! Good luck in the contest, Denise.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  48. Hey Renee and Happy Blogaversary!!:)
    Hey Mrs. Lessman!! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get here sometimes I'm one of the first ones here, but I'm here now and that's all that matters.:)
    I have to tell you I have been waiting for this day to get here for forever it seems!:)
    Oh man and to have to choose between you to critique my love scene, or to win your next book it is soooo hard to choose which one I hope to win.
    Seeing as you are one of people who has had a big part in inspiring me to write, and one of my biggest heroines in author's! It makes It really hard !!:) As you can see I'm in quiet a pickle:)!!
    I have no idea which one to hope for!:)

    But I think your book is going to win out because I am absolutely dieing to read it!!
    Please, Please computer pick me, or however the winners are chosen Pleeeaaaassssseeee pick me!!
    Now I've reduced myself to begging LOL!!!
    Lindsey
    lindseypa89(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  49. TINA!!!!!!!!!!! What a cool surprise to see you here, girlfriend! Another Seeker bud dropping by ... what a way to kick off a weekend! And your love scenes are two paragraphs?? Honey, that's WAY longer than most of the love scenes in the CBA, right? I cannot WAIT to read your new book, which is out next January, title: A Rancher's Reunion -- not only a dream come true for you, my friend, but for me and the rest of the Seekers too.

    MEL!!! Thanks for stopping in, sweetie! I always love to see your cute, little face in the comments. And I cannot WAIT for your book to come out this October -- The Healer's Apprentice. It is, hands-down, the best cover I've seen in a long time! And I KNOW the inside will be good ...

    LINDSEY!!! Honey, don't apologize for coming late, I'm just glad you're here -- wouldn't be the same without you! And, girl, how did I NOT know that you were an aspiring writer??? I don't remember that, so shame on me. I'll tell you what -- I'm going to have TONS of giveaways between now and Sept., so you are bound to win a book, and if you win twice I will give you a critique on the 2nd win, okay? Believe me, it's very possible to win more than once because I had one gal "cyberstalk" (her word, not mine) my blog giveaways, and she won FIVE TIMES!! So, hang in there, sweetie, okay? And thanks for your support, Lindsey -- you are a doll!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  50. Wow, each scene that I've read from A Hope Undaunted just keeps pulling me in more and more. I can't wait for this one to come out. There's so many romance books that I like. Since I'm having trouble picking--I'll pick one of Julie's that I like the best (A Passion Denied). So far that's my favorite of the series. But that may change when the new one comes out! Please enter me in the drawing for A Hope Undaunted.

    cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
  51. Really!! Mrs. Lessman you would do that for me!! You are just so awesome!!!! Thank you!!!
    And Yes Mam I am a aspiring writer, and to tell you the truth you are the very reason I started!
    I don't know if you remember, but the first letter I ever wrote you I told you how addicted I was to your books that actually was the subject line, (totally addicted) I told you that your writing captivated me!
    And you sent me a kind letter and your newsletter in reply,
    And I wrote you back and told you I had thought of doing some writing of my own, but I wouldn't know where to start, and you replied and gave me some tips, and told me that If I wanted to write that I should let go of fear and follow my dream, and so because of you. and your kindness and encouragement! I have started writing and doing my dream, and I love it!!
    And there are no words to describe how much I appreciate and love you are my heroine!:) O,K I better go because I'm starting to tear up:) And I've wrote a couple paragraphs:)

    Lindsey
    lindseypa89(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  52. CYNTHIA ... Sooo good to see you here, girl!! I am anxious to see what you think after you read Undaunted because Cluny McGee is SUCH a great hero (he surprised even me, if you can believe that!), and I honestly don't know how I am going to top him. But I'll worry about that next book! :)

    LINDSEY!!! Okay, you made ME tear up too! What an incredibly encouraging comment, my friend, and YES, now I do remember. It was pretty recently (last three months or so, right?), but honestly, it seems like I have known you a lot longer than that, doesn't it?? I am THRILLED that I motivated you to write, and you mark my words, if you keep showing up on these blog giveaways, you WILL win both the book and a critique before you are through. I'm thinking I will have as many as 30-40 giveaways before Undaunted comes out, so those odds are pretty darn good! Thank you SO much for your friendship and support.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  53. Ah, the lovely Julie Lessman - what can I say?! That is the second or third time I have read that scene and, well, it zings every time :)

    Ok, so my one and only regret about living in Australia is not being able to enter such a great contest ;-)

    Thanks Julie & Renee for sharing in this way!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hi Rel!

    Thank you again for visiting! I know what you mean no matter how many times you read those excerpts (and the entire books for that matter) they get you right in the gut! She sure knows how to write!

    I myself would love to send internationally but it's about $11 to ship one book and with no job at the moment that about breaks my shipping budget! However I will definitely be thinking about holding an open to everyone giveaway in the future! :-)

    XOXO~ Renee

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  55. REL ... thanks SO much for dropping in from Down Under, my friend!! You'll be reading all of these books as a reviewer anyway, won't you? If you are not signed up for Revell's blog tour (for Laura and me), you definitely need to be. Just shoot me an e-mail, and I will make sure you get on the list, okay?

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  56. A Love Undaunted looks awesome!! I read so many romances, it's hard to pick a favorite!! Aaaa...one of my favorites is "The Raven Prince" by Elizabeth Hoyt. I'd love to enter the contest!!

    inthehammockblog (at) gmail (dot) com

    Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  57. CARRIE ... thank you SO much for stopping by! I read tons of romances, too, but I've missed The Raven Prince. Going to Amazon right now to check it out ... :) Good luck in the contest!

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  58. Yes Mam I think it was in the last 3 or 4 months and It does seem longer than that doesn't it.:)
    And you know I'll be coming back to your blog giveaways, so lets keep our fingers crossed:)
    And even If I end up winning both before there all over I'll keep coming back just to say hello:)
    Lindsey
    lindseypa89(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  59. I probably won't have much of a chance to win, but I sure can't if I don't leave a comment! LOL Well, I'm not sure if you meant any Romance, but if so then I guess I would have to say "Gone With the Wind". There is a little of everything in this classic.
    Please sign me up.
    Deborah M.
    debbiejeanm[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  60. I just realized I didn't leave what my favorite book was and that was the question wasn't it?:)
    Well I would have to say the Daughters of Boston series I Can't pick just one I loved them all! They are my favorite out of all I've read for Christian romance, and for secular I have to say the Twilight series and The Host by Stephenie Meyers because I can't choose just one.:)
    Lindsey
    lindseypa89(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  61. Lindsey!!!! You sound like my kinda girl I LOVE the Daughters of Boston series and the Twilight series, I can't wait til Julie's and Stephenie's next books!

    XOXO~ Renee

    ReplyDelete
  62. Deborah- You definitely have a better chance at winning since you left a comment LOL! Good luck

    XOXO~ Renee

    ReplyDelete
  63. Really You do cool!! I am always looking for someone who likes my style!! :) And that's hard to find sometimes:)
    I can't wait till there new books come out either!:)
    Lindsey
    lindseypa89(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  64. Gosh, I hope so, LINDSEY!! And thank you for naming DOB series as your favorite CBA books -- VERY COOL!! And I have to admit that Twilight sure had the romantic tension going on, didn't it though??

    DEBORAH ... very true -- you can't win if you don't leave a comment, so thank you for doing so. And, girl, GWTW is my all-time favorite, too, so we obviously have similar taste ... which bodes well for my books because I was inspired to write my first book (book 1 of the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Most Pure), after reading GWTW at the age of 12!!

    Happy weekend, all!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  65. O.k. Mrs. Lessman You have read twilight??? That is just to cool!!
    And yes it did have some great tension I think Jacob was my favorite!:) And Jasper I almost forgot about him:)
    But still your books are my very favorite they come in first hands down:)
    Lindsey
    lindseypa89(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  66. I think my ultimate favorite romance story is that of Ruth and Boaz in the Bible. My other favorite would have to be Francine River's Redeeming Love. What a beautiful picture of God's love as well as a great human example of 1 Corinthians 13.

    julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  67. Yes, LINDSAY, I did read Twilight, primarily to see what all the fuss was about, and I really liked it. The romantic tension was wonderful, although I prefer romance with God in the middle, obviously. Thanks for your kind comment, sweetie.

    JULIA ... you know, I absolutely LOVE the story of Ruth and Boaz! Did you happen to read Francine River's novella, "Unshaken: Ruth"? It's wonderful, as are all of her books. Thanks for stopping by ... good luck in the contest.

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete

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