Character Spotlight ~ Julie Lessman’s Emma Malloy & Sean O’Connor with giveaway

Character Spotlight ~ 
Sean & Emma

Julie Lessman returns with the long awaited story of Sean O’Connor and Emma Malloy in A Heart Revealed.  Enjoy getting to know them and be sure to enter the giveaway via the form below!

Remember Julie loves to chat with her readers so feel free to leave a comment about this post and who you might have chosen for Emma and Sean and she will be sure to respond :)

 Over to you, Julie:~


Thirty-one-year-old Emma Malloy was beautiful once, before her husband scarred her with a pan of hot grease. Red welts on the left side of her face have now faded to pale and mottled scars that only slightly disfigure her lip and steal most of her left brow. But in an era where eyebrows are now shaved and drawn on, her penciled brows are dressed with petroleum jelly for that stylish, shiny look and her heart-shaped face lends itself to a delicate and graceful air. Soft, grey/green eyes that her husband Rory claimed “a man could get lost in” evoke the gentleness of a fawn. A willowy 5’4”, Emma’s “classic” nose is strong and straight with the barest upturn at the tip, and her rich, chestnut hair is styled in the latest Joan Crawford look, parted on the side with curls below her ears and wisps of bangs that feather her forehead.


At 6’2”, thirty-four-year-old Sean is muscular from a wide array of sports and has twinkling blue eyes and full lips that always hold a hint of a smile. With a spray of freckles on his tanned face, he wears the carefree air of a mischievous Huck Finn and is generally in a good mood, the stalwart big brother who always takes care of everyone else.

Actor/famous person

EMMA: Originally I had pegged actress Emmy Rossum for the role of Emma, but Revell surprised me with a model who ended up being an exact replica of how I saw Emma (see above), so they nailed it, I believe, with their chosen model for the cover.

SEAN (EXCEPT WITH BLONDER HAIR): When I started writing Sean and Emma’s story, I surfed the Web for the image I had of Sean O’Connor, and I found the perfect model shot, albeit shirtless, a grown-up Huck Finn, if you will, with lots of muscles, blond hair, freckles and a little-boy smile. Unfortunately, it’s a stock photo that I cannot use, so I had to scour the Net for another, and although the shot of actor Bradley Cooper below on the left doesn’t really epitomize how I see Sean, it’s as close as I could get to the original model shot that I loved. The shot on the right is a model who also comes close, so maybe a merge of the two?!

Strengths and weaknesses

EMMA: For all of her shy and quiet manner, Emma Malloy is one of the strongest characters I have ever written, emanating a spiritual strength that immediately calms anyone in her presence. As the manager of Dennehy’s Department Store, she is fair and kind to all in her employ, yet strong and resilient enough to dicker with a salesman over surcharges on a foreign shipment, battle a shipping agent over late delivery, and soothe a disgruntled customer, all in one day. She always thinks of others before herself, constantly making brownies for her employees at work, dinner for her neighbors, and slipping her landlady extra rent money during a depression that has sucked everyone dry. Her biggest weakness? Seeing herself through her past rather than through God’s eyes of grace and forgiveness.

SEAN: Sean is the eldest in a family of six siblings who sees himself as caretaker and encourager for the family. A bit of a clown, he has a great sense of humor, a wealth of kindness and is very even-tempered …that is, until his past catches up with him. He’s a hard worker and a natural athlete who loves and coaches kids, but a confirmed bachelor who has resigned himself to not having any himself. His greatest weakness is his unwillingness to face his past, which he buries deep, preferring to present a calm, easy-going front to everyone else.


EMMA: Emma applies cocoa butter to her scars every night and loves to dance with her cat to the music of Duke Ellington.

SEAN: Sean is addicted to Snickers and gets nervous and tongue-tied when a female has him in her sights. As a natural athlete, he wins at every sport he plays, but cannot win at chess to save his soul.

Your inspiration for the character

EMMA: This is going to sound crazy, I know, but Charity O’Connor was my inspiration for Emma Malloy. You see, I needed a friend who would love and encourage Charity in A Passion Redeemed, so I crafted a woman who was the total opposite of Charity. :)

SEAN: This one is easy. I modelled Sean O’Connor after my son, Matt, because like Sean, Matt is good in sports, gentle and kind, and always reaches out and lifts others up, just like Sean. In fact, I dedicated A Heart Revealed to my son with the following dedication:

To my amazing son Matt—
whose uncommon kindness, gentle strength and
love of sports provided the perfect framework for the hero of this book.
May Sean O’Connor touch the hearts and lives
of my readers just a glimmer as deeply and powerfully
as our son has touched ours.


The ring on her hand belongs to one man …

but her heart belongs to another.

As a battered woman, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston ten years ago, seeking shelter for a heart badly bruised by both her husband and guilt. But when she falls in love with Sean O’Connor, a man who wrestles with demons of his own, fear and shame almost destroy her … until she is finally set free by a heart revealed.

Such a pleasure to have you back here, Julie!  Thanks for taking the time to share about these two :)

Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Cluny & Katie

Reviews of A Hope Undaunted, A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed & A Passion Denied
Character spotlight on Lizzie & Brady
Interview with Julie
Visit Julie’s website
Buy Julie’s books at Amazon or Koorong

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41 Responses to Character Spotlight ~ Julie Lessman’s Emma Malloy & Sean O’Connor with giveaway

  1. I have to admit I'm not sure who my favorite hero is. We'll have to wait and see :D.

    You COULD give me a sneak peek at Steven's story if you want me to decide sooner ;).

    Part of it has to do with that bad boy thing we've talked about before Julie. I love the characters etc. but I still long for the good boy rather than the reformed bad boy. But I love them anyway :).

    You right the reformed bad boys and for now I'll stick with the [mostly] good ones :D.

    Love ya lady! Thanks for stopping by my blog today :D.

  2. LONG AWAITED IS RIGHT!! And I'm not saying this because my name is in the book, but I'm almost to page 100 and think it the best book Julie has written to date. And she knows how much I love APMP.

    Fun spotlight, ladies!

  3. Fun Spotlight Relz! The hero is Sean O'Conner! But of course! It's his turn to find Love! After all his sisters have had all the spotlight in the previous books . . . I am waiting for mine to arrive so I can dive in!

    Love the Daughter's of Boston & know Julie's next series is going to be great too!

  4. CAROL!!! Yes, I know how you feel about bad boys because you are the mother of girls, so I think you may like Sean the best, sweetie, because he's probably the least of the bad boys. Although he IS a Julie Lessman character, so he is not without his moments … :)

    And, NO, I will not give you a "sneak peek" at Steven's story other than tiny ones here and there in Journal Jots, Seekerville or prior to release, but … suffice it to say Steven is a good boy who got off track, then righted himself after his lifestyle almost killed his father. So he's a "good boy" for the three years he stays away from women … uh, until he meets our innocent heroine, that is … :) Good luck in the contest, sweetie.


  5. CASE!!! I am SO glad you like it so far and WOW, that is huge praise that it's giving APMP a run for its money, although two of my other reader friends who already got the book think so too, so hopefully the majority of readers will agree. Time will tell.

    In the meantime, my friend, I cannot wait to see what you think, so you MUST let me know the minute you close that book, you hear???


  6. ANDI!!! Thanks for coming by, my friend, and I'm chomping at the bit for you to get it too, seriously!!

    And are you saying you like Sean the best??? Because, honey, if that's true, you are going to LOVE this book because I always loved Sean, but that just went through the roof on this book … :)


  7. LOL, I picked a few, then ended up checking all the boxes, 'cause a couple of the guys seemed lonely without checkmarks next to them, then I decided to just pick Sean (Luuke and Colin tied for 2nd). =P

    I enjoyed learning more about Sean and Emma –can't wait to read their story. =)

    Oh, and I had to look at some of the previous character spotlights (thank you for linking them, Ms. Rel)!

    Happy Labor Day! =)

  8. LDK!!! You are TOO cute, my friend — checking all the boxes!!

    And your book is well on its way, sweetie, so you should get it this week definitely. Then you HAVE to let me know what you think, okay???


  9. Okay, gals, thanks for your comments ~ Julie and I both love reading them :)

    To keep you updated, here's how the voting is going so far:

    Luke 13
    Collin 9
    Brady 7
    Mitch 6
    Sean 4
    Patrick 2

    Undecided/don't know 8

    So, is it going the way you thought?

  10. Julie, I PROMISE I'll tell you…in person. 😉 I'm on page 89 right now. :)

  11. REL!!! Thank you SOOO much!! I am shocked that Luke is beating Collin, but thrilled, too, because Luke is to die for, in my opinion, neck-in-neck with Mitch (who I picked). It's so fun to see that!! I imagine Sean's numbers would be higher if more people had read his book, too, but we'll save that for another poll down the road.

    Is it going the way I thought?? Actually, yes because I kind of thought Luke would be win over Collin, although Collin has always won before (in 2 other contests). I am surprised to see Brady with so many votes, but then I know one of them is yours, Rel, right?

    The thing that always amazes me about my heroes is that not one of them is alike. I really worried in the beginning that all my heroes would seem the same, but I am happy to say that they all have their own unique personalities, which actually meld together pretty well.

    Soooo fun!!


  12. Okay, CASE … I'll wait till I see you in person. :)


  13. LOL! Yep, Brady gets my vote although it's a toss up as most of those Lessman boys are pretty appealing 😉

    Luke is still ahead of Collin, you will be pleased to know! Only time will tell, though.

    I'll update the votes in the morning, that is!

  14. I love, love, love this character spotlight! I'm so looking forward to reading this book…but I kinda want to hold off, so that I don't have to wait so long until the next one comes out. 😉

    Luke is my favorite hero, but Patrick is a close 2nd for me! Can't wait to read this book, Julie. I know it'll be great.

  15. SARA, thank you SO much for your kind words and for coming by to comment.

    Isn't this spotlight a fabulous idea??? Rel is the only one who does this as far as I know, which is why I LOVE doing it so much (that and I love Rel) — it's so different and creative. Margaret Daley does do a somewhat similar thing with a character interview, but it's definitely different than this.

    And I can't wait for you to read it either, my friend, so be sure to keep me posted if you like it, okay? If not … well, never mind. :)


  16. REL … our Cluny boy is pulling it out, huh?? Good to know … :)


  17. Yeah, baby, he is! Here's up to date numbers on the guys:

    Luke "Cluny" 16
    Collin 12
    Brady 10
    Mitch 10
    Sean 6
    Patrick 2
    Undecided 11

    Wow, I'm loving seeing Brady and Mitch get close to the "bad boys" ~ just shows you can't keep a good man down ;-D

    Julie ~ LOVE doing spotlights with you!

  18. WHOO-HOO, GO LUKE!!! And I am SHOCKED about Brady, but you are right — you can't keep a good man down, I guess.

    And, honey, you don't have HALF as much fun as I do DOING your spotlights!!


  19. Hmm… Can I change my vote from Undecided to Cluny?

    So far anyway.

    I'll be lucky if I get any sleep at conference.

    Not with this one staring me in the face. And since the first thing I'm doing [just about] is buying it…


  20. CAROL, not sure if you can do that or not, but I'll bet Rel will let you, sweetie.

    And don't blame not getting any sleep on AHR at conference, sweetie, we both know you will do that on your own with those fellow roomies and God knows what else!! :)


  21. Peggy Blann Phifer

    I'm late to the party on the comments, but I did get my vote in the other day. I'm happy to see my choice is in the lead. I loved Luke! With Mitch running a close second. I've not yet read Sean's story . . . because I don't have the book. It's on my wish list, even more so now!

    Go, Cluny!

  22. PEGGY!!! Sooo good to see you here, my friend, and Luke and Mitch are my top two favs as well, but I voted for Mitch because he's WAY closer to my age than Luke, but either way — HUBBA, HUBBA!!!

    Thanks for coming by, sweetie, and here's to a win!


  23. Relz,

    This is such fun!!!! I can't believe that Luke is in the lead! My fave is John Brady for sure!!!!
    Don't enter me. I just came by for the fun!

    Hugs! Andi

  24. Watch out, Katie! Here's the updated tally:

    Luke "Cluny" 26
    Collin 14
    Mitch 12
    Brady 11
    Sean 6
    Patrick 2
    Undecided 10

    Yes, I changed yours, Carol!!

  25. ANDI … you're back, and I can see why!! This is SO much fun, Rel, and I can't thank you enough for doing it.

    And I am flipping cartwheels over Luke leading the pack (figuratively, of course — give me a break, I'm 60, which would definitely result in a "break"!)


  26. WHOO-HOO, REL, YAY FOR LUKE!!! Now you see why AHU is my fav of all my books — Luke is SUCH a hunk in every way: spiritually, physically and emotionally. LOVE that guy!!

    And I suppose it's a compliment that ten are undecided because that must mean they love them all????


  27. I have yet to read Katies story (Yes I know Im bad and will go sit in the corner) so I had to go for Brady I really like him. I have the book to read have it in print and ebook now. and yes I will read it I promise! I need this new one I am sure it will as good as all the rest.

  28. Hi. I just came to check out the blog for the noms, (Congrats), when I read the character spotlight. That was a lot of fun. I am happy I saw this one. As someone who had to move from all of my family and friends in Illinois to no one in Alaska for a similar reason I am very interested in reading this book. Good luck on the nominations. Oh I am following you now.

  29. Thanks Cristina for the congratulations :) Any book by Julie is fabulous, so go for it!

    Julie ~ your male leads are so amazing it is a wonder we all aren't 'undecided'!!!!

  30. JENNY!!! I have a feeling you are going to LOVE Luke because he and Brady are the most moral of all my single heroes and, in fact, Brady has a prominent part in this book, so you need to read it, girl!! Then let me know if you like it or not, okay?


  31. CHRISTINA!!! Just my type of gal — one who hasn't read my books yet!! If you plan to buy one, then PLEASE start with the first in the series, A Passion Most Pure, which was American Christian Fiction Writers Debut Book of the Year for 2009. This is a passionate family saga best read in order due to a number of big surprises in book 1.

    BUT … that said, right now book 1 in the second series, A Hope Undaunted (the book before the one featured in today's blog, A Heart Revealed) is NOW FREE on Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook for a limited time. Can be downloaded on PCs, Macs, Droids, etc., so you can read it first if that works better, but you just won't be as surprised if you read APMP. So check out my passionate writing style with the free download if you want and if you like it, please pass the word!! Then good luck in this contest, sweetie, as well.


  32. Thanks, REL … what can I say? I write how I like 'em, so I'm inclined to agree with you. :)

    But, WHOA BABY, just found one of my TOP heroes ever in Laura Frantz's new book, The Colonel's Lady, which I know you loved too, right? Colonel Cass McLinn is TO DIE FOR!!!

    By the way, have you ever read Diana Gabaldon's Outlander??? One of my top favs, although it is not an inspirational, Jamie Fraser, Colonel McLinn, Rhett Butler are pretty much at the top of my list along with my own boys, of course, but only because I'm a prejudiced mom … :)


  33. Yes, I have to agree with you on Cass, Julie, but then again I have a soft spot for all of Laura's men, too! HA 😉

    Have you read Liz Curtis Higg's Mine is the Night? Lord Jack Buchanan can give Cass a run for his money!

    For a contemporary angle, one of my all time favourite male leads is from a novella by Beth White in Sweet Delights – Tommy from The Trouble with Tommy ~ sigh!

    Then there are all Ronie Kendig's guys from her Discarded Heroes series, Lisa Bergren's Marcello, Luca and Lord Greco from River of Time and Tamara Leigh's Maddox McCray from Splitting Harriet……I should stop now!

    I've looked at Outlander a few times but haven't got around to reading it. I'll check it out from my library on your recommendation, though!

    Hugs xo

  34. Rel,

    Oh, YES, in fact I endorsed Mine is the Night for Liz … LOVED it!! But then I love everything Liz writes. But I have to tell you that her hero in her Scotland Trilogy–Jamie–is TO DIE FOR!!! LOVE that trilogy — probably my favorite of all time.

    Beth White is great, and it goes without saying that Ronie knows how to write a hero. But I guarantee you that if you read Outlander, HOLY COW … what a guy!! But I repeat … it's not an Inspy book for those who read nothing but.


  35. Okey dokey, girls, here's the morning update:

    Luke "Cluny" 29
    Collin 22
    Mitch 13
    Brady 11
    Sean 7
    Patrick 3
    Undecided 17

    There's been a late rush on Collin – LOL! He obviously has some keen fans 😉

    Julie ~ now you mention it, I remember your endorsement – duh!

    Anyone else have some book heroes they hold dear?

  36. WHOO-HOO, CLUNY STEALS IT AWAY!!! The numbers actually fell pretty much where I thought they would, Rel, so no surprise.

    This has been SOOO much fun, my friend — THANK YOU!!!


  37. I chose Collin if it's not too late. Though I wasn't enough to save him from second place, it seems.

    I've been trying to follow Julie around the web entering for this book. I spent all my birthday money on APR, APD, and AHU. I don't think I can wait til Christmas to buy this one.

  38. ANDREA!!! Aw, you are SUCH a sweetheart, my friend … spending your birthday money on the O'Connors!! It's about time you win a book, though, so thanks for "following" me around! Always love to see your name pop up! Good luck, my friend. :)


  39. Voted a week ago, but just realized I forgot to post a comment.

    Mitch has to be my favorite Lessman Hero so far, but Luke is on my TBR pile and from the looks of things he may prove to be serious competition. :)

    I love it when authors post photos of how they view their characters. Emma and Sean look deeelightful! I'm sure their story is going to be a fun read!

  40. NATALIE!!! Thanks for coming back to comment, my friend, and oh my, Mitch is my fav too, but I have to say he is neck-in-neck with Luke. Trust me, you are going to LOVE Luke!! Anybody that can displace Collin, who always won hand over fist before, has GOT to be good!! Heck, I even loved Luke as Cluny in APD as a spindly, sunken-chest kid, so I KNEW I was going to love him in AHU, and I was right.

    Let's see if still love Mitch after AHR — he's a bit of a brat in that one, as is Luke, but heck, all the more fun, right??


  41. The final scores are now tallied – go to my home page and see if your favourite Lessman bloke won ;-D

    Thanks for all your lovely comments – it was a lot of fun! A special thanks to Julie, too, for taking the time to respond to each comment – you are such a blessing, Julie :)

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