Monday, November 23, 2015

My New Favorite Author

Ya'll know me. And ya'll know I love to read. Not that I have a ton of time, but I do try to spend every evening, after all the kiddos have gone to bed, curled up with my favorite book. It's my down time and it is how I wind down to fall asleep.

My new absolute favorite author is, without a doubt, Julie Lessman. I honestly cannot sing her praises enough. When I was leaving for a girls weekend in D.C., I asked my husband to find me a good book on my Kindle. He did some searching and stumbled upon Julie Lessman. He saw all the awards she had won and figured she must be "pretty good" and bought me her first book on Amazon. By the time I was home from the trip, I had called him, begging him to please buy the next one for me!

Folks, I am telling you, Julie Lessman has quickly become my new favorite author. While I have always said that Francine Rivers is in a "league of her own", I must tell you that I really think Julie Lessman is as close as anyone has ever gotten that I have read, and I actually, seriously, think she is rivaling Francine Rivers in the quality of her writing. I thoroughly enjoyed Karen Kingsbury as well, but she does not compare to Lessman.

What I appreciate so much is her gift for writing. This is quality writing. I really dislike that I have to compromise quality for content when I read or watch Christian movies or books. I truly believe that Christians should be doing this just as good. And Lessman does! And not only is the writing fantastic, but she incorporates encouragement and the salvation message so well. It truly never comes across force or preachy.

I have absolutely devoured her books. Not only that, but I have given each one to my mother-in-law, and she has devoured each of them behind me. I even bought new hard copies of her "Heart of San Francisco" series, and for those of you who know me at all, you know I don't buy anything new. But I just could not wait until I found a used set!

Seriously. If you like reading, and you enjoy Christian novels, you absolutely must read Lessman's books.

Where to start? Well, you can find a complete listing of her books by clicking here.  But I would suggest you start by reading: A Light in the Window. You can purchase this for only 99cents on Amazon so you seriously have nothing to lose. Buy this book and see for yourself if you are not completely hooked! (I actually didn't know about A Light in the Window and read it after Series #1 and #2 listed below.)

Once you finish (and LOVE!) that book, you can jump into "The Daughters of Boston" series and follow that up with "The Winds of Change" series. Both of these follow along with the O'Connor family, and trust me, you'll grieve as much as I did when those series are done.

     A Passion Most Pure
     A Passion Redeemed
     A Passion Denied 

     A Hope Undaunted
     A Heart Revealed
     A Love Surrendered
Once you finish these series, there are actually two (going on three!) novellas which are shorter stories following a few of the couples in the series listed above. Let me know if you get there and I'll give you a link to the novellas!

After that, I got started on "The Heart of San Francisco" series. It was very hard for me to leave the O'Connor family, but honestly, and I am still not sure how she did it, but Lessman reeled me into an entirely different family nearly as seamlessly.

     Love at any Cost
Dare to Love Again
Surprised by Love
I am planning to do some further reviews of Lessman's books in the weeks and months to come so stay tuned. But for now, let me know if you are going to jump in and read based on my recommendation. I really want to know what you all think even though I know you will love her as much as I do!!


Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

You have fabulous taste in books! LOVE, love, love Julie Lessman and her writing! She's an amazing person as well as author. Happy for you that you have a new fave author!!!

Julie Lessman said...

WENDI!!! OH. MY. GOSH!!! Talk about making the weepy CDQ (caffeinated drama queen) cry a bucket -- you did the trick with this INCREDIBLE post, my friend. HOLY COW, it's soooo good, I'm giving you an extra 5 points in my newsletter contest to add to the review you just did on your other blog, so six points for and I hope you win!!

There's only one thing I want to know ... where do I send the check???

Hugs and more hugs!

Bonnie Roof said...

Wendi, I couldn't agree with you more - on any of the statements you made about Julie's writing. I have everything she has published - including her writing manual, each of the novellas, and even a book of devotionals (by numerous authors), which contains one of her devotions. I have each of them in all available formats.

Julie's writing is truly in a class of it's own - the warmth and realism of her characters, and her beautiful faith-filled quotes are unbelievably inspiring - causing reflection by her readers; the unexpected twists, humor, angst, and passion are such a reading treat. However, the thing I most love about her writing is it's being God-centered, there is always a happy ending with the characters being redeemed through a loving God. It's always difficult finishing one of her books/novellas, knowing there will be a wait before another is published. As you can see, I can't "sing her writing praises" enough, and I so agree with Carrie: "Julie is an amazing person". She puts much of herself in her writing, and is guided by God in both her writing and personal life.

Thank you for your beautiful post, Wendi - I love that you want to share the enjoyment of Julie's beautiful writing, just as I do. Welcome to the world of readers addicted to Julie's writing, lol!!

DDT said...

Great books! So happy that you turned me on to them. Would love the link to the novellas!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, DDT, thank you SO much for your interest! Here are the links to my two Christmas novellas (in an anthology that includes other award-winning authors):



And then, just FYI, my Christmas novel, A Light in the Window, is currently on e-sale for only 99 cents, so that's a great place to start too. :) Here's the link to the video my artist hubby did for A Light in the Window starring my daughter in the video and on the book cover -- a family affair! :)


And, WENDI ... thank you AGAIN for all your kind words and promo ... I am forever grateful, my friend!