Dear God,

My prayer for 2012 is a fat bank account and a

thin body. Please don’t mix these up like you did last year.”

— Unknown

Uh-oh … I’ve been Tagged!!!  And, no, that doesn’t mean my books have been reduced or are being given away for free.  


But … a little birdie told me that this spring, both A Passion Most Pure and A Hope Undaunted will be available for free download, so I’m giving a heads-up to all of you—my insider reader friends—to keep your eyeball on Journal Jots because I will announce when it happens, okay? And … A Light in the Window may also be on sale by then, so lots of good things coming up, including special giveaways of book 1 in my new “Heart of San Francisco Series, Love at Any Cost, releasing April 1st.

So if I were you, I would subscribe to this blog RIGHT NOW so you get e-mails delivered directly to your mailbox whenever I post any new blog, giveaways, or juicy news. It’s smart and simple and oh, soooo easy!! All you have to do is scroll up to the right-hand side of this page and enter your e-mail, click on the “subscribe” button, and VOILAyou will be “tagged” to never miss any of my giveaways or breaking news ever again. Uh … such as the winners of my KINDLE FIRE CONTEST at the end of today’s Journal Jot, so be sure to scroll down!!


My very good friend and author, MaryLu Tyndall TAGGED me on a BLOG HOP BOOK TOUR and this is how it works. I will answer the following questions and then tag another author so you can read her answers to the same questions. It’s a fun way to learn a little bit more about my upcoming book, Love at Any Cost AND meet one of my favorite historical romance authors, so here we go!

What is/was the working title of your most current or upcoming book?

That would be book 1 in the “Heart of San Francisco” series (originally called “The Cousins McClare” series), Love at Any Cost (originally called Dare to Dream), which—YIKES—releases in just under THREE MONTHS on April 1st!!!  Pre-orders are available now at Amazon, Barnes &, and Christian, so if you go there to look, I’d greatly appreciate you “LIKING” the page. 🙂 

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Well, I’d already done a series on sisters on the East Coast with “The Daughters of Boston” and “Winds of Change” series, so I simply flipped to the other side of the country and went with cousins from an Irish family. I’ve always loved the beauty and charm of San Francisco, and I thought it would be really interesting to butt the Barbary Coast—a poor and downtrodden part of San Francisco that became known as “Sin City” of the late 1800s and early 1900s—against the Nob Hill elite, which is exactly what Love at Any Cost is about. Here’s the blurb from my proposal:

From the glitter and glamour of San Francisco’s Nob Hill and Napa wine country, to the seedy dance halls and gambling dens of the Barbary Coast, “The Cousins McClare” is a study in contrasts between the haves and have-nots, and barriers between rich and poor that only faith can transcend.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

1-line premise:

A spunky heiress without a fortune falls in love with a handsome pauper looking to marry well.

Moral Premise:

Pursuit of material things, pleasure or escape will lead to discontentment and emptiness, but pursuit of God will lead to fullness of joy and fulfillment.

Scripture Theme:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. —Matthew 6:21

Jacket Blurb:

Fooled by a pretty boy once,

shame on him.

Fooled by a pretty boy twice,

shame on me.

Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who just as soon hogtie a man as look at him … until Jamie MacKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well lassoes her heart. But when Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than him, Cassie finds herself bucked by love a second time, sending her back to Texas to lick her wounds and heal her heart. In her absence, Jamie discovers money can’t buy love, but love built on faith can set a heart free, a truth he discovers a little too late … or is it?

How long did it take you to write your manuscript?

About five or six months for the first draft, then three months to edit/revise for a total of nine.

What’s one of your favorite things about this book that you hope will appeal to readers too?

This book is a lot lighter and more humorous than my prior books, although there is still a fair amount of drama and angst because let’s face it, it wouldn’t be a Julie “CDQ” Lessman book without that, right? But overall, the fun and sassy cover depicts the light mood of this particular novel, so I hope the reader will enjoy Cassie’s humor as much as I do.

What celebrities best describe your hero and heroine?

For my hero Jamie MacKenna, the Barbary Coast street rat who becomes a lawyer with political aspirations? Oh, man, that would have to be Matt Bomer from the TV show White Collar, and HUBBA, HUBBA!! Please note, due to copyright laws, I cannot post his picture, but here’s the Google images link where you’ll find him, so be prepared to drool: 

Matt Bomer

For my heroine Cassidy McClare, Revell actually came pretty darn close to my image of this sassy and unconventional Texas oil heiress whose daddy’s wells have run dry. Cassidy is a fun character who prefers “blue jeans to dresses, ranching to socializing, and horses to men, and the poor woman would kill to have an electric cattle prod whenever she tangles with Jamie MacKenna! I pegged a blonde Rachel McAdams for this very unconventional heroine, so here’s the Google images link to her:

Rachel McAdams

AND NOW to TAG one of my favorite authors!! If she doesn’t post her answers right away, don’t despair… she’ll have them up soon, so be sure to check her blogsite often. I am tagging:

Mary Connealy

And We Have Winners …

I thank each and every one of you who entered my KINDLE FIRE CONTEST when ALITW came out—awesome turnout!! But, unfortunately, there can only be one big winner of the Kindle Fire (or equivalent gift card) and four runners-up, each of whom have won their choice of a signed, printed, and spiral-bound copy of A Light in the Window OR a $20 Amazon gift card. So without further ado, a HUGE hug and SUPER CONGRATS to the following winners:

Winner of the Kindle Fire or Equivalent Amazon Gift Card is:

Julie Gilmore Graves

Four Winners of a Signed, Printed, Spiral-bound Copy of A Light in the Window or a $20 Amazon Gift Card are:

Haley Victoria

Debbie Lynn Costello

Abi Buening

Donna Phillips

Hugs and HAPPY NEW YEAR and may it be overflowing with His abundant blessings for you and yours!!