“A charming woman is a busy woman.”

Loretta Young

A charming woman is a busy woman … A charming woman is a busy woman … Yeah, that’s my mantra this week because heaven knows I am “busy,” but I’m not too sure about the “charming”!  Something deep down inside tells me ol’ Loretta and I have WAY different temperaments …

As you may or may not know, in the last week, I:

* Celebrated my 33rd wedding anniversary (somebody pinch me, please, because I canNOT believe I ended up with a dream of a guy like Keith).

*  Had my first grandbaby (pictures of Aurora Grace (Rory) Lessman can be found by scrolling down to last week’s Journal Jot … sooo cute!).

* Had four blog interview/giveaways going on (and you KNOW how wordy I can get with those comments!).

*  Waded through several thousand e-mails and played catch-up on paperwork post-conference.

*  Had a Journal Jot, Seeker blog, and an article for RomCon blog to write.

*  Received massive revisions from my editor on Steven’s story A Trust Restored (YIKES … can you say cut 50,000 words???).

*HOLY COW!!! Found out I finaled in The Inspy Awards, which is an awesome award that showcases the top Inspirational fiction as voted for by blogger reviewers. I was pretty shocked, but boy, oh boy — WHOO-HOO!!

*  And spent valuable time with my Aunt Julie as well as celebrated my wonderful mother-in-law’s birthday (Soooo glad you were born, Leona!! AND Happy Birthday Friday to my sister-in-law, Lisa!)

WHEW!!! But I wouldn’t trade a moment of it because it’s ALL good, albeit busy.

So, what’s up this week? Well, first off, did you notice the new glam job on my website??? HOLY COW … I had NO idea my artist hubby was going to do that (we’d talked about it, but he’s been SO busy, too, I didn’t expect it). Here I am down on the lower deck, writing away with feet up when Keith comes down. “Check out your website,” he says. I blink up at him. “Why?” “Just do it, Julie,” he says in his most bullying “Mitch” tone. So I do and WHOA, BABY … my website is now in the 21st century!! I don’t know about you, but I think it’s GORGEOUS … just like my hubby!

CONTEST WINNERS!! Next, I am SO sorry I am behind on posting the winners of the Pam Hillman “Stealing Jake” contest, but here they are at last. I will contact each of you via e-mail or FB to retrieve your address and your choice of book from my library. Congratulations to:



(choice of top CBA book AND a two-week loan of my Kindle copy of Stealing Jake):

Ashley Roberts



 (choice of top CBA book):

Carol Moncado

Wyndy Callahan

Amy Lachina

Jan Drexler

Pam Williams


BIG GIVEAWAY EVENTS!!! The Seekers 4th Birthday party is underway and going strong throughout October!! Stop by every day for the chance to win a Netbook, Kindles, $50 gift cards and more, free books, and LOTS of GREAT opportunities for aspiring authors to get their manuscripts in front of an editor. So check it out as well as our new website we are launching — here’s the link:


Every day we have exciting blogs and guests like : 

Love Inspired Senior Editor, Melissa Endlich

Freelance Writer and Editor Jason Black

Jenny B Jones

Liz Curtis Higgs

Publisher’s Weekly, Beyond Her Book, Barbara Vey

Love Inspired Associate Editor, Emily Rodmell

K. Dawn Byrd

Anne Barton and Lisa Connelly

Melanie Dickerson

Agent Natasha Kern

Jessica Nelson

NOTE: My blog is slated for NEXT WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, so come cheer me on while I talk about “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” on the road to publication. A GREAT chance to win one of my signed books and LOTS of other prizes all month long!!
PLUS … don’t miss out on more giveaways of my books at:


SEPTEMBER 27 to OCTOBER 11, 2011

Join me at Joy Tamsin David’s blog, Edgy Inspirational Romance, for a chance to win a signed copy of any of my books including my upcoming release, A Heart Revealed at:


OCTOBER 4 to 11, 2011

Join me at Relz Review blog for a second interview and a chance to win a signed copy of any of my books including my upcoming release, A Heart Revealed at:


OCTOBER 11, 2011

Join me at Book Reviews by Lady Katy blog for a Q & A session and a chance to win a signed copy of any of my books including my upcoming release, A Heart Revealed at:



ACFW CONFERENCE!! Finally … pix from the conference. And, OH, what a conference!! Soooo many highlights … from a relaxing dinner at my home and fire-pit conversation with most of the Seekers (with twice-baked potatoes that I did NOT pipe initials into because Keith threatened divorce if I did …) to the “A Kiss is Not Just a Kiss” workshop I co-taught with Ruth Axtell Morren, where I pelted chocolate and sang “You must remember this … a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh …”

It was all HEAVENLY … especially meeting some of my favorite people in the world, not the least of which is sweet Casey Herringshaw, the winner of my newsletter contest to have a character named after her in A Heart Revealed.

Another special highlight was meeting 16-year-old Amanda and her mom, who stopped me in the hall to give me presents!! Amanda’s sweet nature SO touched my heart, I wanted to hug her to pieces, which I did, of course! So, without further ado … enjoy the pix, and have a GREAT weekend!



Here is sweet Amanda, who has written four ms. and had requests from several editors!!


 Below are two dear writer friends, Annette Irby and Dawn Kinzer.

Below is my precious roomie and Seeker bud, Audra Harders RIGHT after she jerked a Revell editor’s hands off my arms to pull me away for a pic. “Audra!” I teased, “You NEVER do that to an editor …” Needless to say, she didn’t know it was an editor and VOILA — I caught the shock on her face!!

OH. MY. GOODNESS!! Casey Miranda Herringshaw (below) … was in my book (A Heart Revealed) and in my house!!! Casey is the dear friend who won my newsletter contest — soooooo fun to finally meet her!!!


Casey, me and Carol Moncado, another dear friend wh just happens to bake THE BEST chocolate chip cookies EVER!! Thanks for the extra lbs. on hips, Carol, you little brat! 🙂

Another highlight of the conference was a video interview with Dianne Burnett (below) of Christian Book Distributors (CBD.com), which turned into a super-girlfriend connection that was SO fun!!! Soooo glad I got to know you better, Dianne!

Intense discussion below between Seekers Janet Dean, Mary Connealy and me at ACFW Awards Banquet. Don’t ask what it was about — I don’t remember!! 🙂

My old crit partners, Diana Brandmeyer (on left below) and Jennifer Tizai. If any of you remember the Seeker blog where I talked about the supernatural turnaround at my first ACFW conference — Diana was the friend who God used to bless the socks off me and dry my tears (of which there were MANY that year!!). Here’s the link if anybody cares to check it out: http://seekerville.blogspot.com/2009/09/conference-cpr-julie-lessman-style-and.html.

The Revell Author Appreciation Dinner — WOW, what a class act!! They had it at Ruth Chris’, and it was TO DIE FOR!! Not just the food, but the company!! Some of the best authors in the biz, and HOLY COW, I get to hang with them!! One of the many highlights was getting to sit next to my dear, DEAR friend and prayer partner, Laura Frantz, and then get to know Janelle from Revell better and both Jill Eileen Smith and Ann Shorey. We had a BLAST!!

In the pic below, we have from left to right in first row: Sarah Sundin, Revell editor Andrea Doehring, Lynette Eason (who I got to know better — what a sweetheart!!), Suzanne Woods Fisher (who I also got to know better and loved her — who would think an Amish author would click so well with an Edgy Inspy one??), Revell Director of Marketing, Twila.

(Back row, left to right to left) Dan Walsh (our token guy, but WHAT a guy — sweetest man on earth, I swear and a heck of a writer a la Nicholas Sparks!), Revell Marketing Assistant, Janelle (SO great to meet her!!), Moi, Maggie Brendan (my good Southern bud), Ruth Axtell Morren (my good friend and workshop co-presenter — we had SO much at that workshop!!), LAURA FRANTZ!!! (LOVE this woman!!!), Jill Eileen Smith (she is a sweetheart and SO calm — I need more time with her … ), Lorna Seilstad (fun gal and fun author with dash of humor), Irene Hannon (a good friend and Rita, Carol and Christy nominee/winner who I WISH would rub off on me!!), Ann Shorey (SUCH a doll!) and last but not least, Mesu Andrews! THANK YOU, REVELL, FOR ONE OF THE BEST MEMORIES FROM ACFW!!

Ruth Axtell Morren and me, co-presenters at our workshop, “A Kiss is NOT Just a Kiss.” We had a GREAT TIME and although my hubby was in the room running the Power Point for us, he WARNED me not to dare introduce him to the audience OR attempt a kissing demo!! 🙂

Trust me, with 165 women and Ruth and me reading/teaching from our love scenes … it got a BIT warm in that room … 🙂

And finally, here are some of The Seekers at the banquet, left to right: Moi, Cara Lynn James, Debby Giusti, Janet Dean and Mary Connealy — these woman are just flat-out WONDERFUL!!!