Thursday, 30 April 2009

Character Spotlight ~ Julie Lessman's John Brady & Elizabeth O'Connor and signed giveaway

Today the spotlight shines on....................Elizabeth O' Connor & John Morrison Brady

If you read historical romance you will know the name of Julie Lessman and her Daughters of Boston series. The third book in this wonderful series, A Passion Denied, has just released and my copy arrived this morning and I can't wait to read Lizzie and Brady's story. I know I am in for a treat :)

And Julie has a treat for you all here too, a spotlight on the characters that are Lizzie and Brady. I've had a soft spot for Brady since he first appeared in A Passion Most Pure and even more so now!


Brief physical description of your main characters:

Lizzie O’Connor (formerly Elizabeth or Beth), is a shy and gentle bookworm bent on fairytale romance. She is willowy and graceful at five-foot-seven, and has near-violet eyes and a fashionable bob that is all the rage in The Roaring Twenties. Her chestnut hair is worn in a wavy shingle haircut, falling just below her ears and shows off her heart-shaped face and slender neck to good advantage. She is delicate and slim, with soft, subtle curves in all the right places.

John Morrison Brady, Collin’s best friend from WWI and now his business partner, is six-foot-three and very muscular as he works out at a boxing gym and play sports. He has cinnamon-brown hair and brown eyes that appear almost hazel in the sunlight. He has a dry wit and a deep-calm personality.

Actor/famous person who might resemble her/him

For Brady, definitely Michael Vartan, the lead in Never Been Kissed with Drew Barrymore. Here’s the pic I like the most because he has that deadly-calm look in his eyes that Brady so often wears. Hubba-hubba!

For Lizzie, I think Revell did a WONDERFUL job with the cover model – she is exactly as I pictured her, but if I had to pick a movie star, I would go with Emmy Rossen.

Strengths and weaknesses

Lizzie’s strengths are her passion for literature and her passion for God, her gentle nature, her love of children, and her flair for drama when it comes to story time at the bookstore where she works. Her weaknesses are also tied to her love for literature, which translates into escapism and her obsession with fairy-tale romance and finding the man of her dreams, which in her case with Brady, sets her up for major disappointment.

Brady’s strengths are his deeply-rooted passion and commitment to God, his dry wit, his fierce loyalty to those he loves and his calm and inexhaustible patience. His weaknesses are part of the story and something I cannot divulge, but let’s just say that not only does he have a hidden temper, but that “still waters run deep.” He is also a man who can forgive any wrong of anyone … except himself.

Quirk (if any)

Lizzie’s quirk is that she gnaws on her lips a lot when she’s shy or frustrated, which in this book, with Brady, is pretty much ALL the time!

Brady’s quirk is he loves to mess with machinery in the print shop, so he is always covered with ink, head to toe.

Your inspiration for the characters

Well, when I started writing this series, I actually modeled each character after an aspect of myself. For instance, Faith from A Passion Most Pure is my spiritual self, Charity from A Passion Redeemed is my carnal self (before God), and Lizzie in A Passion Denied 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 precepts and not the world’s.

As far as Brady, I have always seen him as a strong, silent Billy Graham-type of man who is a virtual Rock of Gibraltar when it comes to God. But as we all know, the only “Rock of Gibraltar” that exists on this planet is located south of Spain! Which underscores a line in A Passion Denied that says, “We’re nothing more than Christians … human beings with clay feet and a strong God.”

Background to the story:

When Brady first appeared in A Passion Most Pure as Collin’s trench mate in WWI, I liked him so much, that I wanted him to be a permanent character in the series. So it was an easy fix to have him and Collin establish a partnership in the printing business, the same business both Collin and Brady’s fathers were in. As far as Lizzie, I thought it would be fun to have her develop a crush on Brady in book 2, A Passion Redeemed, which then sowed the seeds for their romance in A Passion Denied.

Ironically, the original manuscript depicted much darker secrets for Brady that were very disturbing and, I thought, very necessary. But, Revell did not agree and had me rewrite the plot to lighten his secrets. In retrospect, I now feel that Revell was absolutely correct in their original call, and I am grateful for my editor’s wisdom in this matter.

Photograph of press by Eamonn McCabe

Fabulous, Julie ~ as always! Thanks so much for sharing an inside look into your characters and for providing a terrific giveaway :)

On Monday, the spotlight turns on Nicole Baart's Abigail and Hailey Bennett from one of the most poignant and heart wrenching stories I have had the privilege to read. Don't miss it!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of A Passion Most Pure and A Passion Redeemed

Interview with Julie

Visit Julie's website

Buy Julie's books at Amazon or Koorong

Open Giveaway

Julie is graciously giving away a personalised and signed copy of the winner's choice of one of her books! Doesn't get much better than that! To enter:~

Post a comment by Sunday 10th May, 2009 telling me which of Julie's three books you would love to win together with contact details.


Anonymous said...

I would like to win A Passion Denied. I have both of the other two and absolutely LOVE them!

Contact info:


James said...

I would love to win the first book A PAssion Most Pure


Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

I would love to win book 3 A Passion Denied! I just loved the first two books and really want to win the latest to find out what happens between Brady and Lizzie! Lizzie is such a great character, I think I'm a lot like her, the bookworm looking for her Prince Charming :-D Please enter me!


Julie Lessman said...

ANONYMOUS, thank you SO much for reading the other two books, and I am thrilled you are excited about the third. Both my editors, my husband and most of my friends think it is the best of the three, so hopefully you will think so too!

JAMES, thank you for your interest, and I wish you good luck in the contest.

RENEE, I have to admit I am such a drama queen that at first when I started writing Denied, I wasn't real excited about writing about Beth (who changes her name to Lizzie during the Roaring 20s) because she wasn't as dramatic and fun as Charity, who as you know, is a real hoot. But, as I got into Lizzie's character, I realized what a beautiful person she is and how much I would love to have a friend like her. Besides, there is ENOUGH drama in this book to let Lizzie be as sweet and calm as she pleases. But trust me, she DOES lose it once or twice. I have to put my personality in there somewhere, right???


Paige said...

I really love this series! Lizzie especially. Please enter me for book 3:)


ReadingRobin said...

Ooh, this is a great series! I would love A Passion Denied!!
Thanks Rel, another super Spotlight! I'm addicted!!

Carole said...

I would love to win a copy of A Passion Redeemed, and my reason is kind of crazy. Most series have three books, and when it comes to a series that I know I'm going to love, I wait until the last book is close to being released before beginning to read #1 because I just can't wait long between books.

So . . . I have A Passion Most Pure and would love to win the next one, A Passion Redeemed. Keep up the great writing, Julie!

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

jaana said...

I simply could not put down either of the first two books when I picked them up until I had read them to the very end! Even now months later I still think about the characters. Julie has done such an excellent job with bringing her characters alive! So please, please enter me in to win book 3, A Passion Denied!

Amber Holcomb said...

Hi again! I left a comment on Lena Dooley's blog--I'm the one who has been reading A Passion Most Pure in Borders :) I could ask for it for my birthday or buy it...but it has been so much fun anticipating reading a bit more each time! It's a wonderful book! I would love to win the second book in the series, A Passion Redeemed! Thanks for the giveaway!

Also, the main character in this third book sounds like someone I can relate with! I love reading Christian romance, watching romantic movies like The Love Comes Softly Series, and listening to bluegrass and other love songs. I probably have my head too much in the clouds...but I'm very thankful for so many inspiring Christian love stories!

Anonymous said...

I don't have any of the books, but looking at the reviews and the excerpts I would love to win any of the books. I look forward to reading the series. Contact info:

Julie Lessman said...

PAIGE, thank you SO much for "loving" this series! And I have to admit I am a bit surprised how many e-mails/comments I have been getting about Lizzie and how much people like her and are anxious to read her story. I actually struggled to like her myself when I started writing the story, but her quiet and shy passion won me over as I hope it will do to my readers.

And READING ROBIN, I would have to say until recently, book 2, A Passion Redeemed, has been my favorite of the three books (now Denied is), so I hope you like it as well. Thanks for stopping by.


Julie Lessman said...

CAROLE, grin ... actually you don't sound so crazy. I have a good friend that does that same thing! Hope you set aside a nice chunk of time for reading three almost 500-page books!!

JANNA, thank you SO much for your kind words!! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it.

AMBER, you're making me smile again, girl! I've told the "Borders girl" story to a number of family and friends because I think it is so cute! Good luck in the contest, although I think Borders may miss you if you win it.
And I love movies like Love Comes Softly too, although my "love" in this series doesn't always come "softly"!! :)


Julie Lessman said...

Oh, CYNTHIA, we have to get you on these books, girlfriend!!! Check out my website calendar at to see all the book giveaways I have coming up in the next two months. Then stop by to leave a comment, and your chances for winning a book will be greatly increased. Thanks SO much for you interest!


Merry said...

I am blessed to have the first two books, please add me for A Passion Denied. The Roaring 20's is such a great setting for Lizzie's story. Thanks for a chance!


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

I would love to win a copy of the first book, A Passion Most Pure. I have heard so much about Julie and how wonderful her books are!

Sherri said...

I have read the first two books in the series and loved them. I am so looking forward to reading this one.

Kim said...

I have read the first two and just received the third one in then mail. These books are DULY titled with the word passion because Julie writes with great PASSION in every aspect of these characters lives. I am HOOKED on Julie's books! I want the next three right now! Kim

Ashley E said...

I would love to win Book 2, A Passion Redeemed. I loved the first book, but never have managed to read the second. Shame on me!


Anonymous said...

I loved both books. I could not put them down. They are the best Christian fiction I have read in a long time. The only others that come close are Francine Rivers and Liz Curtis Higgs. I would love to win Book 3 A Passion Denied to discover what transpires with Brady!

Nise' said...

A Passion Most Pure please! I keep giving away my copy. It was my favorite book of 08!

I am going to love picturing Michael Vartan while reading about Lizzie and Brady. I loved, loved him in Alias! Can't wait to read A Passion Denied!


Julie Lessman said...

No, MEZ, I'M the one who's blessed if you have both of my other books!! Thank you SO very much for buying them (or someone buying them for you!). And, YES, the Roaring 20s was a really fun era to write these characters in AND gave me the license I needed to explore the "promiscuity" question of that era that I touch on in that book.

Oh, SHERRINDA, girl, we have to get you this book, my friend! Please throw your hat in the ring for all the book giveaways I am doing by checking in regularly at my website calendar because I will be giving away about 15 or more books through interviews that are and will be listed there, okay?

SHERRIE, thanks so much for dropping by AND for reading my books. I am so blessed by readers like you!


Julie Lessman said...

KIM, you sweetheart you!!! WOW, thank you so much for your incredible words -- what a blessing! And believe me, I wish I could give you the next three books right now, but alas, book 4 (or book 1 of the next series, Katie's story) is written, but won't be out until June 2010. Sigh. But I hope you will like it because my daughter-in-law said book 4 affected her even more than all the others, so who knows? Maybe I AM improving with age!! I can only hope ... :)

LEY, oh, I think you will love book 2, or at least I hope you will. It was my favorite for a long time, but now it is tied with book 3. Of course, I love all my "babies" and each holds a special place in my heart, but book 2 just came so naturally to me (it only took me two months to write it and that was working part-time, while both of the other books took about eight months each). Anyway, Charity's story just came so easily and naturally for me, I guess because she is the most like one of my all-time favorite heroines -- Scarlett O'Hara!

HOLY COW, ANNE, you are putting me in the same sentence with the likes of Liz Curtis Higgs and Francine Rivers???? Good-night, girl, I need to send you a book just out of plain gratitude!!! Thank you SO VERY MUCH for your kind words -- I am blessed!

NISE!!! Your favorite book of 2008??? Dear Lord, you're right up there with Anne and Kim in giving me goose bumps! Thank you so much, and if you win this signed copy, you have to promise not to lent it out anymore, okay??? :)


Jen said...

I have loved the first two books so much that I was reading into the wee small hours instead of sleeping!!!I found them gripping and couldn't put them down. Can't wait to read Passion Denied so I would love to be entered for No. 3 please. Thanks Rel and Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JEN!! I've robbed you of sleep??? Goodness, I am soooo sorry!! (NOT!:)) Gosh, I hope you like Denied as well, my friend, and no offense, but I'm hoping there may be a wee bit loss of sleep over it as well. So far the e-mails I've gotten from readers have indicated such, but then those are the die-hard romantics like myself that crave novels where the romance is king and God is on the throne!! :)


Carolynn said...

I would love to win 'A Passion Denied" I've read the first 2 and absolutely LOVED them! Can't wait to get my hands on it and read Lizzie's story!
Thanks so much for the chance to win!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, CAROLYNN, sooo glad to see you again -- hopefully your diligence will pay off with a signed copy of Denied because you sure deserve it! And thank you SO much for your support and for loving the O'Connors as much as I do! :)


Debs Desk said...

I would love to read A Passion Denied. Please include me in your giveaway.

Anita Yancey said...

I would love to win a copy of A Passion Denied. Sounds like a wonderful book. Please enter me.


Anonymous said...

I would love a copy of A Passion Most Pure!

rebornbutterfly (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

Julie Lessman said...

DEBS DESK and ANITA -- thanks SO much for stopping by and good luck to both of you! But I'm really hoping you both have read books 1 and 2 because this is one series that really needs to be read in order to get the most out of it. There are a number of HUGE surprises that would be ruined if you don't read A Passion Most Pure first, although Denied can be read as a stand-alone, but not recommended.

REBORNBUTTERFLY -- Thanks for leaving a comment -- book 1 is a VERY good place to start in this family series.


windycindy said...

I adore Julie Lessman's writing style. My choice of books would be
"A Passion Denied!"
Many thanks.....Cindi

Julie Lessman said...

Hey Cindy, good to see you again, girl!! And I already know you read the other two, so you're good to go on Denied! Good luck, sweetie!


Maureen said...

I would like to win the book that started the series A Passion Most Pure. mce1011[at]aol[dot]com

Courtney said...

I would like to win A PASSION DENIED. I have already read the other two. And, if you haven't, you DEFINITELY should.

Thank you very much!

Julie Lessman said...

MAUREEN, thanks for dropping by, and good luck in the contest!

COURTNEY, thank YOU for reading the first two books in the series. My husband, my two editors and most of my friends like Denied the best of all three, so hopefully you will too!
Thanks for stopping by.


Rachel Fisher said...

I would love to win the first book--"A Passion Most Pure"!
The series sounds fantastic!
Rachel Fisher
South Australia

ladybug said...

I would like to win the third one as I have the first two! Please enter me for a chance to win!

ldneuhof at hotmail dot com

Angela said...

I haven't read any of the books; so can you please put my name in the 1st books hat. Many Thanks.

Julie Lessman said...

RACHEL, oh you are coming into this series at a good time, girl, when all three books are already out! Good luck in the contest and thanks for your interest.

LADYBUY, thank you SO much for reading the first two books in the series, and I hope you enjoy book 3. I'll warn you right now, though, it's a little bit more complicated than the other two due to the substories I included on each of the other couples. Complicated ... but fun ... I hope!

ANGELA!!! Well, there's no time like the present to start reading this series, girl, so get busy. Hopefully we can help by sending you a signed copy of the first book if your name is drawn in this contest. Good luck!


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