Who Inspires You?

This past week has been a blur of busyness. An intensive day of baking. Long days without a dishwasher. Time spent scrubbing walls, rearranging furniture, and unstacking and re-stacking bookshelves. Alphabetising books, organising the chaotic rumpus room, and finding lost things. With all this “manual labour”, I’ve been thinking. A lot.

Inspiration comes in many forms and from many places. A cooking show might inspire what you make for dinner, or a scene in a movie could inspire you to repaint and recreate your bedroom.

God stirred my passion for writing through reading a novel.

Back in late 2018, I emailed Julie Lessman, the queen of edgy inspirational romance, and… well, fangirled. Here’s an extract of the email I wrote:

“After reading Marcy’s story, I’ve written 45,000 words of a novel of my own in just 4 weeks. It has just tumbled out after 20 years of putting my writing on hold… all whilst home schooling 4 children, running our home, admin and accounts for our business and the school run for my eldest. It’s been awesome. Instead of watching Netflix when my hubby has worked late or overnight shifts, I have been typing away. It is so therapeutic.”

Julie Lessman’s writing affected me so much I started writing. That 45,000-word manuscript was the beginnings of Punctured Heart, later lovingly pulled apart and reimagined with an amazing editor-turned-friend (love you lots, Jeanette, and miss working with you).

So, in honour of Ms Lessman (who is the sweetest person and a delight to email!), I’m returning to my “writing roots”.

A Light in the Window is where everything begins for this wonderful Irish-American family, and I fell head over heels (it’s also on my list of favourite Christmas stories). Some might call this prequel to The Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series the “origin” story. A unique love story with genuine characters facing heartbreak and injustice, winter holiday “feels”, and the Light of Christ at Christmas.

The Daughters of Boston series kicks off with Faith’s story, A Passion Most Pure. We’re introduced to her amazing family (and a heap of sibling rivalry!) amid the chaos of World War 1. I give you fair warning: read beside a box of tissues. I rarely tear up when reading or watching movies, but I cried while reading this book. While you have those tissues, prepare yourself for heartache (and some swoony moments!). Persevere to the end, my friend. It’s a satisfying emotional rollercoaster read.

Faith’s sisters’ romances follow along similar raw, edgy lines. Charity’s story, A Passion Redeemed, and Lizzie’s story, A Passion Denied, delve into some heartrending and tense material. Passion and faith work hand in hand as we travel further with an amazing family who feel more like real friends than fictional characters.

The Winds of Change series opens with A Hope Undaunted, which follows the now-grown up, sophisticated Katie. The author displayed amazing forethought and planning in crafting her story, sprinkling the seeds of her future in her older sisters’ books. A Heart Revealed is Sean’s complex story, shining a light on the quiet brother who’d intrigued me the previous books. And Steven, the baby of the family, ties up this faith-filled, passionate family saga in A Love Surrendered.

It’s bittersweet to read the last book in a series, so after the acceptable period of book mourning, I discovered a bunch of Christmas novellas! Reading “updates” about each couple was lovely, and in true Julie Lessman style, the stories carry their own challenges and triumphs. From feelings of jealousy toward offspring to resentfulness in one’s parental “load”. Infertility issues, wanting another child, and several rocky marital moments where I wondered, “How will Ms Lessman fix this?”

Don’t worry, she always does. 😉

Have you read any of Julie Lessman’s romances? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *