Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Wing and a Prayer by Julie Lessman Review and Giveaway

A Wing and a Prayer tour banner

About the Book

A Wing and a Prayer
Series: The Cousins O’Connor
Genre:  Adult, Historical, Regency, Romance
Publisher: Phase Publishing
Publication date: April 1, 2020
She’s dead-set on giving everything to the war overseas …
Even if it means losing everything in a war of the heart.
A street orphan abused and abandoned by an alcoholic father at age five, Gabriella (Gabe) O’Connor has never let a man stand in her way yet. So when a handsome flight officer thwarts her plans to become a WASP — Women Air Force Service Pilot — she’s determined to join the war effort anyway she can. Her chance comes when she “borrows” foreign correspondent credentials from the Boston Herald—where her father is the editor—to stow away on a medical ship to the front.
Lieutenant Alex Kincaid pegs Gabe O’Connor as trouble the moment she steps foot on Avenger Field as a WASP cadet. As the eldest brother of a boy whose jaw Gabe broke in grade school, Alex is familiar with her reputation as both a charismatic ringleader and a headstrong hooligan who’s challenged every male and nun from grade school to college. As her WASP flight instructor, Alex eventually expels Gabe when she pulls a dangerous stunt. But when he is an evacuation pilot in France eight months later, their lives intertwine once again, exposing them to a danger as perilous as the German tanks roaming the Reichswald Forest: a love that neither expects.

About the Author

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys writing close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.
Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, Heart of San Francisco, Isle of Hope, and Silver Lining Ranch series, Julie was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered over 18 Romance Writers of America and other awards.
Voted #1 Romance Author in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie’s novels also made Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015, Best of 2014, and “Essential Christian Romance Authors” 2017, as well as Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction. Her independent novel A Light in the Window was an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers’ Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner.
Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. Contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at


I am so glad Julie Lessman has continued to write about the O'Connor's! I fell in love with the O'Connor's back in 2008 with A Passion Most Pure and when the Winds of Change series ended I had O’Connor withdrawls! 

Her first installment of The Cousins O’Connor is full of heart wrenching emotion and does not disappoint! 

Ms. Lessman is true to her tagline of Passion With a Purpose in her story about Gabriella (Gabe) Dawn, the street urchin the Patrick and Marcy O’Connor adopted. 

Gabe has grown up but she is still a spitfire and is determined to do things her own way and definitely without God. “I don’t trust many men… And that includes God.” 

Julie Lessman is master story-teller and uses her story-telling to reveal God’s love and truth regardless of how stubborn the character may be. Historically this book takes the reader from 1943 to the end of the war. 
I cannot recommend this book enough!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in association with Singing Library Book Tours. I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Character Interview with Gabriella (Gabe)

Andi - Hi, Gabe! Welcome to Radiant Light. I’ve gotten to know you through the O’Connor series but many might not know you yet. 
Gabe - Hi, Andi, and thank you for having me here today. It’s nice to be able to get my story out there because I think I’ve gotten a bum rap from Sister Mary Vomit and other nuns and teachers at St. Stephen’s in grade school, not to mention controlling men that I’ve dated and in my family, beginning with the man I respect most in life—my very own Pop. 
Andi - I appreciate you stopping by, Gabe. I agree with you, it's always nice to get your side of the story out.
What is the first thing you’d want them to know?
Gabe - The first and foremost thing people need to know is that I hate bullies in any form. Whether it’s men that who try to control me, females who try to bully me or others, or even a cock-eyed society where men are king. I gotta tell you it really gripes my cookies that women can’t be fighter pilots in this war because I was born to fight, and as one of the few female pilots around, I know I could fly circles around those other flyboys.
Pop’s convinced I’m a child prodigy, from academics and chess, to photography and flying, and he could be right. I have a photographic memory, which makes it easy for me in school—and hard for me in life because I remember every evil thing my alcoholic parents did to me before they tossed me in a trash heap at the age of five. Mom calls me a “defender of the weak,” and she’s right, too, because I will bust the chops of anyone—male or female—who I see kicking an underdog.
Andi - I'm not a fan of bullies either. I wasn't bullied as a kid, however, I've seen it and it just makes me want to hurt someone.
How would you describe Julie Lessman?
Gabe - After me, nobody hates bullies—or cliques—more than Jules, and champions underdogs like I do too. And that’s because she was bullied herself in grades 2-4, and it impacted her life forever. 
As one of thirteen, Jules went to kindergarten all day at her siblings’ school (instead of the two-hour allotted period) to avoid special pickup. Because of that, she was the teacher’s pet, receiving daily peppermints and special favors. As the top dog, kids actually used to fight over holding her hand if you can believe that. But when she switched schools in the 2nd grade, she broke out with psoriasis all over, forcing her to wear knee socks and sweaters year-round, which the kids made fun of. Once, in front of the entire class, an old nun even asked her if she was “sure she didn’t have leprosy,” actually turning her into a leper who became the butt of jokes, picked last on teams, and ridiculed as the class “cootie.
It all changed, however, when she switched schools in the 5th grade and stopped wearing sweaters and knee socks because she was fed up with doing that. Lo and behold, the sun got to her psoriasis and cleared most of it up, so she then became one of the most popular kids in the class again. But this time it was different because she KNEW what it felt like to be bullied and ostracized, so when the most popular kid in the class invited her to be part of their clique, Jules said no thanks and hung out with the less popular kids instead, building a group where everyone was treated fairly with kindness and acceptance. Both Jules and I think that’s how the world should be, so we try and do our part.
Andi - Wow! I am beyond saddened that happened to our dear friend, Jules. That story made me tear up!
What is your favorite afternoon snack? 
Gabe - Are you kidding? Dubble Bubble FOREVER! Although it really steamed my stockings when production was stopped during the war due to the sugar shortage. Fortunately, Mom and Pop gave me huge boxes full of DB each Christmas, so I have a good supply stashed away.
Andi - I totally forgot about your love of Dubble Bubble! The horror, I know!
How do you like being a member of the O’Connor family?
Gabe -  Oh, WOW, just reading that question brought tears to both my eyes and Jules’! Because, you see, both of us know what it’s like to grow up not being loved, so becoming a part of the O’Connors—which is actually Jules’ idea of the perfect family and loosely based on her own marriage—brought a healing to Jules and to me, filling in all the cracks and hurts with God’s love and that of family. So much so, that Jules actually rereads the O’Connor saga every year or so because she misses the family so much.
Andi -  I love the family as well. I'd love to have the time to reread the O'Connor saga from beginning to end. It's one of my favorite families too!
What made you choose to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots also known as W.A.S.P ?
Gabe - Ha! Because I love to fly circles around men, and I figured that was the best way to do it since I can’t be a fighter pilot. But Jules would say her one and only reason why I chose to join the WASPS was because of Mr. Vince Mooney, a dear friend of Jules and a Seekerville subscriber who suggested I become a WASP during the war. Jules had never even heard of the WASPs until Vince sent her a ton of information—and creative ideas from his fertile imagination—and that sealed the deal for us both. J
Andi - That definitely sounds like a perfect reason.
How did you meet Alexander Kincaid? Did you like him right away?
Gabe - I met Lieutenant “By-the-Book” Kincaid (otherwise known as “Lieutenant Prig-and-Proper”!) on my first day as a WASP trainee at Avenger Field, and he got on my nerves right off the bat. I thought he looked familiar, but it wasn’t till a month later that I found out he was the oldest brother of the “Kincaid bullies” who terrorized my grade school. You see, I busted one of his brother’s jaw with a bat in the 4th grade and blackened his other brother’s eye in the 5th grade. Of course, Lieutenant Prig-and-Proper knew who I was from the first day we met, which is why he picked on me, especially when he made me spit the bubblegum I was hiding behind my molars into my palm and fisting my hand over it. From that moment on, I resolved to make him pay, and trust me—I did! ;)  Problem was, he made me pay, too … by stealing my heart.
Andi - I remember those Kincaid bullies. From me to you, they deserved it. I bet you did. Thanks for stopping by again, Gabe, it was nice to get to know you a little better. 
There you have it, readers, straight from Gabriella (Gabe) Dawn O'Connor!


A Wing and a Prayer Giveaway
Enter the giveaway HERE.
Giveaway ends April 8 at 11:59pm MT.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

Follow along with the tour over on SLB Tours.


apple blossom said...

I love Julie's books. Thanks for sharing

Julie Lessman said...

ABI, thanks for coming by, my friend, and GOOD LUCK in the contest!


Julie Lessman said...

Hey, Andi, thanks SO much for the great review, my friend -- ALWAYS much appreciated!

Hugs and more hugs,

Lynne Feuerstein said...

Thanks for this touching interview with Gabe O'Connor!! Learned so much about her and our sweetheart Julie Lessman. It made me love them even more! I'm so sorry Julie you faced bullying,I did ,too! When I moved from Catholic to public school I was such an outsider,plus they always made fun of my nose calling me pig face. (Sure wish I would have had Gabe with me then! ) It did get better later though,glad it did for you,too! I 've tried to learn from this and all people with respect. Thank you so much for sharing your heart,wisdom,and stories with us!

Julie Lessman said...

Oh gosh, Lynne, I wish you had had Gabe with you too, my friend! There are few things I hate more than bullying, and I remember railing on my kids if I even detected a hint of that in them growing up.

I am so very sorry you went through bullying, too, but somehow it brings me closer to you, my friend, so thanks for sharing.

Hugs and more hugs,

Andi said...

You are so welcome, dear Julie! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read this and interview Gabe. It was so much fun learning about her and you. Like Lynne said my heart broke learning you’d been bullied as a kid. I wasn’t bullied and I watched football players in my high school stick up for those who were. I was surprised my brother and I weren’t being Navy kids who were always the new kids. We never stood for it when we saw it though.

Hugs and more hugs,


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