Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Passion Denied - Review

A Passion Denied

by Julie Lessman

About the Book
Has she fallen in love with a man who cannot love her back?

Elizabeth O'Connor has been like the little sister John Brady always wanted, sharing his love of literature and his thirst for God. But in the throes of the reckless Roaring Twenties, Lizzie has grown up. Suddenly she wants more from the man who has been her friend since she was a child. When this shy little bookworm blossoms into a beautiful young woman bent on loving John, she discovers that his past won't let him return that love. But Lizzie refuses to give up--until his shocking secrets push her away.

Can true love survive the betrayal and deceitful of a painful past . . . or will it be shattered like the fairy-tale dreams of a girl in love?

Brimming with romance, longing, and redemption, A Passion Denied, will quicken your pulse and gladden your heart with a riveting story of the true power of love.

My Review

Passion, scandal, heartbreak, love, giving, taking, forgiving, lies, truths... redemption. Where to begin? Julie Lessman is most definitely not your average author. Do you want truth? Reality? Passion? Then she's your gal.

A Passion Denied hits all points, draws you into the O'Connor family and the lives of two different but perfectly matched people. One who is hungry for God and adores the man that feeds that hunger and then one who is everything a man of God should be, but holds onto a past that is anything but holy. But he is a real man. Having to deal with the fact that he's human and not perfect. He loves as a man should love and wants as a man should want. She, sweet and tenderhearted, has to come to terms that love isn't always a fairytale, it's real and alive.

A beautiful story of redemption and passion. Romance that makes your toes curl and heartbreak that makes you want to cry along with the characters.

Julie Lessman never leaves you bored, I felt like my brain was swinging from one thing to the next, completely caught up and seeing things in myself that related to these characters. An eye opener that made me thankful for grace and humbled that no matter what or where I've been God is merciful and he does indeed forgive the past and sets you on the right path, a new life with the testimony of the old.

A love that goes beyond all hurt, a love that gives and doesn't always take, a love that sees past all the indiscretions and misunderstandings, a love that is born only by God, this is the kind of love and passion that Julie Lessman writes about.

About the Author
Julie Lessman is the author of A Passion Most Pure and A Passion Redeemed. Even as a debut novelist, Lessman garnered writing awards, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She lives in Missouri.

Interview and Giveaway
I will be doing a short interview with Julie Lessman on May 7th. Each person that leaves a comment between May 7th and May 14th will have a chance to win your choice of A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed or A Passion Denied from Julie Lessman.

A Passion Denied will be released on May 1st - purchase here - Revell

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mississippi Here I ... Came

On The Way

Me and planes don't go to well together. Especially little planes. As I held back calling out "Jesus" and gripped the seat in front of me, I had a chance to look out the window and see flat land and lots of trees. We were not in Orange County anymore.

We had to travel from Jackson, MS to a little town called Columbia. Blink and you may miss it. Cute and quaint... okay that wasn't my initial reaction. I saw all the horrific things and didn't see any of the good until a few days later. I told my sister that she would have to come visit me because I sure wasn't coming back. lol but I changed my mind and now, if I must, I will visit from time to time.

The Proposal
The first night there, my sister's boyfriend planned a dinner for her and us at this little place that looked like a sandwich shop. The menu's on the wall had fried everything, but the tables were set with rose petals and candles. We, my mom and I, watched from a distance as this happened...

My sisters fiance is the production manager at the local newspaper, so he had a full color page for his proposal.
We had fried green tomatoes for the first time, fried calamari fresh from New Orleans, garden salad and the best shrimp scampi ever. It was perfectly cooked and seasoned. We finished dinner with Chocolate mousse and strawberries soaked in Grand Marnier. Divine. That's all I have to say. Divine.
Wedding Errands
On Saturday morning we woke up at 4:30, 2:30 CA time, and drove to Pensacola, FL. We had to be there for a morning appointment at the caterer. We had appointments one right after the other at the florist and bakery. We then headed to Orange Beach, AL to see where my sister is getting married and the house we will be staying in the week of the wedding.
This is the beach we are staying on. The sand is incredible, fine and white.
I took a few pictures of my sister and her fiance Paul, we called them engagement pictures but it really was a few shots here and there.
The ride home never ended... it seemed as if these Southern roads could go on and on... that wore me out along with the fact that I'd only gotten 7 hours of sleep in the last two days.
The B&B
My sister's fiance was kind enough to get us a room at the local B&B. We had the whole upper floor to ourselves and each morning the B&B host would make us breakfast in the formal dining room. This picture kind of reminds me of Green Gables.

Bottle trees are a Columbia staple. You drive down the street and see one of these in almost every yard. My mom wanted to put one together at our house and I told her it's best to leave these in Columbia. =)

My Favorite Part

I think the best thing about this trip were the fried pickles. I do not like pickles at all. I give them away or just throw them out, but these were mouth watering goodness. I have been craving them since and have no where to get them.

Sunday Go a' Meetin'

We visited my sister's new church on Sunday morning, one the most beautiful churches I've seen, Woodlawn. Afterwards we were invited to a luncheon for Cath and Paul at a co-worker of Paul's. The house was on tons of land, green and lush. Made me want to pick it up and take it back home with me... don't know where I'd put it, maybe on a cement building... that's pretty much taking up all our land here.

We spent the last two days looking around town and resting since we completely wore ourselves out.

I was so glad to hit land in Orange County... there really is no place like home.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Just a note...

I've been gone from blog world forever... or so it feels like it. It seems that everyone that comments is pretty much gone too, with the exception of my one dear blog bud. She knows who she is. =)

Anyway, I was telling my sister that I was thinking of stopping... after almost 3 years. She gasped.

This morning I was reminded that I had a review to do for an incredible author, a book that I've been counting down the days for. So the blog will stay up, with or without readers.

I'll post more shortly... maybe tomorrow, but no promises since I seem to turn fickle in cyberland. ;) But who's holding there breath?

Thursday, April 23, 2009


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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter Weekend - Part 2

I left off here because that post just got too long. On Saturday I helped my sister with a "wedding/moving" yard sale which begin my "so tired can't keep my head up" state of mind.

On Sunday we had an nontraditional Easter. Our church just purchased a prime piece of property in Irvine and we wanted to invite people to come and meet us and spend Easter Sunday eating, playing games and getting to know each other. I had to work with the kids while I complained all day long, I really did and it makes me cringe, about my back and the fact that there wasn't enough Easter eggs for the kids... Oh being a women is hard stuff... men have it so easy. No mood swings would make life so much more easier!

Here are a few pictures...

(My sister with her clown face)

(This is my pastor's dad. He is always the clown but this year his makeup wasn't done very well. He was not too happy with it after kids saw him and ran. It reminded me of a character in the movie Moulin Rouge.)

(This is my little buddy. He's almost 5 months old and the sweetest little guy, Zion. He is a special boy, he's missing his forearm on his right side so I call him Nemo. Just thought I show ya his sweet face... lol)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Weekend - Part 1

Easter weekend was a FLASH. I got to work on Monday morning, practically laying over the desk. Exhaustion does not even remotely describe how I felt.

On Friday night my sisters and I went to a friends Birthday party. She is my wild friend and sometimes drives me nuts, but is always there when you need her and she makes me laugh! A good friend should always make you laugh... ;)

(Sonia and Lexie - the birthday girl)

(Catherine and I)

We went to this Armenian restaurant in downtown Whittier (which is in Los Angeles for those not familiar). I am no fan of trying new things. The only thing that I crave that is not American, Mexican or Italian is Thai. Mmmmmm sounds good right about now. So anyway, we had hummus, yummy. Then came the processed meat. I leaned over to my sister and said - "So... drive-thru on the way home?". I like my meat to be unchewed. I got asked over and over "Isn't this food good?", my response was "This is so fun!" lol.

They brought out these little cups of Armenian coffee and baklava, which I love. The coffee nearly killed me after a few sips. That would keep you up all.night.long!

On the way to the restaurant we drove/walked by this little store called Village Sweets. I recognized it right away and yelled "Peter Perrrrrrfect!". I love this show and used to watch it, when I still had time, and even downloaded this particular episode on iTunes. I had to go in after dinner and take a couple of pictures and buy something. Chocolate covered strawberry and a cheesecake frosting strawberry. Oh me oh my, so gooood.

Here's a little clip of Peter Perfect's critique...

Here is what it looks like after...

Part 2 to come...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Oooooh the Blood that was shed for me!! No words could express "thanks" to the only God who robed himself in flesh just for us; Lord of Lords and the one that holds my heart, soon coming KING!!!
Oh how I love Him, the only true way!
~Happy Easter~

Friday, April 10, 2009

Freaky Bunny Cake

My co-worker is taking a cake decorating class and he brings in the birthday cakes. He decided to bring one in today to celebrate Easter. What can go wrong with an Easter Bunny cake? EVERYTHING.

I present to you the Angry Easter Bunny from India who apparently is a smoker.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Daily Bee Top "Things" - Plug In's

So, I've given up on all the special "day of the week" post and decided to make up my own, I've completely lost track of everything and can't turn back the clock. Below is my list, I'll cover one each week. Maybe this will keep me blogging and not forget that my blog is even here. =)

Week 1 - Plug In's
Week 2 - Wearable
Week 3 - Places
Week 4 - Eatable
Week 5 - WWW [dot]...

Swingline Electric Stapler. You don't have one of these, you must get one.

I have long hair, not as long as I want, but long. It goes to the middle of my bee-hind and often I go crazy trying to figure out what to do with it. I hate wearing my hair up, most of the time, so I LIVE on these incredible Conair ceramic curlers. I can put them in, leave them for 2-3 minutes and I'm good to go.
This is a given and what I'm sure would be #1 on everyone's list. My computer. [period]

How I love thee food processor... The Cuisinart food processor is a must in every cook's kitchen. Second to my mom, I am the cook in our family. I love love love to cook and bake. This is my toy that I talked my mom into buying (for herself) many years back and it's still going strong.

Next Thursday is wearables...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Cherry Baby Shower - "Oh Baby"

This past weekend our family hosted a baby shower for my cousin, Stacey. My aunt has a beautiful home with a view of the ocean and hills in Laguna Niguel. We didn't need many decorations which was a good thing since there is nothing out there for a cherry themed party. Any type of party. I decided to make cherries and little "Oh Baby" signs that my sister added a nice touch to. I somehow became the coordinator of this shower since my sister is busy planning her wedding and day dreamin' of someone far far away, lol. So, I took it over and ran with it. Hectic, stressful and unorganized until the last minute. I thought it turned out great in the end and it was exactly what my cousin wanted. The family chipped in with food, sandwiches and salads. My aunt got some games together and we were ready to go.
The mommy-to-be
The most scrumptious cherry cupcakes. I made these with my own rendition of cherry cupcake and Paula Dean's Cherry frosting recipe.

There was a sweet treat in one of the cupcakes...

My grandma found the sweet treat... a little plastic baby.

What a perfect setting, right?

The tables, not very baby showerish which is exactly what I wanted! =)

I got the "Oh Baby" from a stamp that I used on the invites. We carried the theme throughout...

Onesie section that my aunt setup. My sister and I made the cutouts with the baby's name.

The spread!

This is my aunt who is 89 years old and acts like she's 55! ;) My beautiful Grandma is to the right.

The following picture is so gross, but this should help those that love the poopy diaper game.

Please, please, let's put this game in the past... I think it's run it's course. Especially now since the new fad is co-ed showers. Men can't help themselves!

It was a perfect day! Family makes it exciting and it's even funnier to see people that are not in your family watch the antics.

Do you want to know a secret? I hate cherries. There cute, but they taste... ugh. =)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

300th Post

I've been fretting over the 300th post since about... 20 post ago... but I've decided it's just not worth it. The big "300th post" party will have to wait until 350! I'll make sure it is worth the wait =).

As of now, I am so swamped, like I said before, and I don't have time to really think of anything else but an upcoming baby shower, out of state trip, wedding showers, wedding, new duties at church... everything is happening at the same time. Lots of planning and dealing with life. Oh so fun.

I am so tired and wish for a break, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. Thank the Lord I can count on HIM to give me the sound mind and energy I need. He NEVER fails.