Character Spotlight ~ Julie Lessman’s Marceline, Patrick, & Sam with a giveaway

A Light in the WindowMeet two rogues and a beauty in

Julie Lessman’s

historical romance

A Light in the Window

Ten Talents Press

The Story

One Woman. Two Men.
One stirs her pulse and the other her faith.
But who will win her heart?

Marceline Murphy is a gentle beauty with a well-founded aversion to rogues. But when two of Boston’s most notorious pursue her, she encounters a tug-of-war of the heart she isn’t expecting. Sam O’Rourke is the childhood hero she’s pined for, the brother of her best friend and a member of the large, boisterous family to which she longs to be a part. So when his best friend Patrick O’Connor joins in pursuit of her affections, the choice seems all too clear. Sam is from a family of faith and Patrick is not, two rogues whose wild ways clash head-on with Marcy’s—both in her faith and in her heart. 

While overseeing the Christmas play fundraiser for the St. Mary’s parish soup kitchen—A Light in the Window—Marcy not only wrestles with her attraction to both men, but with her concern for their spiritual welfare. The play is based on the Irish custom of placing a candle in the window on Christmas Eve to welcome the Holy Family, and for Marcy, its message becomes deeply personal. Her grandmother Mima cautions her to guard her heart for the type of man who will respond to the “light in the window,” meaning the message of Christ in her heart. But when disaster strikes during the play, Marcy is destined to discover the truth of the play’s message first-hand when it becomes clear that although two men have professed their undying love, only one has truly responded to “the light in the window.”

Enjoy meeting Marcy, Patrick, & Sam

Brief physical description

Marceline O’Connor is 5’3, sky-blue eyes, very light blonde hair, and moderate build. I picture her looking like the model below whose name I do not know. TheMARCY MURPHY_docx actual cover designed by my artist husband, however, has my daughter as the model.

Patrick O’Connor is 6’2” with dark curly hair, an Adonis face, clear gray eyes, and chiselled features with a lean, muscular build due to a job on the docks of The Boston Herald. The closest I could come to how I picture him is the model attached, but I’d like to see more of the glint of rogue in this model’s eye.

Sam O’Rourke, the antagonist hero, if you will, is 6’1”, black curly hair and a Roman nose who’s not as “pretty” as Patrick, but considered the Southie neighborhood’s #2 rogue to Patrick’s #1. I picture him as a younger Patrick Dempsey.

Strengths and weaknesses

Marcy’s strength’s are she is incredibly loyal, compassionate, and harbors a deep love for faith and family. Her weakness is her blindness to the faults of those she loves and her judgmental attitude to those she does not.

YOUNG PATRICK O'CONNORPatrick’s strengths are a charismatic personality, good sense of humor, and a keen magnetism that draws women and kids. He is loyal, doesn’t hold a grudge and is fun to be around. His main weakness is his propensity toward being a rogue, flirting, and leading women on to satisfy both his own physical needs and his deep desire to be loved. He is also angry at God due to a loveless home life resulting from the age of ten when Patrick caught his pious, church-going father in bed with the neighbor’s daughter.

Sam’s strengths and weaknesses are similar to Patrick’s in that he is loyal and fun and very protective of his close-knit family, but also an insatiable flirt and rogue who has no problem taking advantage of women. His greatest weakness, however, is his secret envy of Patrick’s obvious favor at work and with women.

Quirk (if any)

When Marcy gets nervous, she swipes her teeth with her tongue.

Patrick doesn’t really have any quirks except he’s an outrageous flirt.

Sam’s quirk is more serious in that he has a problem saying no to sins of the flesh.

Your inspiration for the character

Believe it or not, my inspiration for Marceline O’Connor came from a composite of two of her daughters from my debut book A Passion Most Pure. I described Marcy as being a shy and gentle bookworm like her daughter Lizzie and a woman of faith like her daughter Faith.

My inspiration for Patrick O’Connor actually comes from my own husband, who was also quite the catch in his day and a very good-looking young man who drew women like a magnet. When I first created Patrick O’Connor, it was as the 39-year-old father in my debut novel A Passion Most Pure, so I depicted him as the type of spouse and father I saw in my own hubby—giving, kind, romantic, tender and yet all male with a stubborn streak a mile long. :)SAM

For Sam, my inspiration came from the idea of him looking and acting like a pirate—personable but not trustworthy.

Background to the story

A Light in the Window is the prequel love story of Marcy and Patrick O’Connor, the parents in my two prior series, The Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change. The idea for their love story came when I included a sub story for them in book 3 of The Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Denied. In that book, I hinted at a love triangle that pits Marcy between Patrick O’Connor and his best friend Sam O’Rourke, so I simply expanded on that idea with the underpinnings of a Christmas fundraiser play called A Light in the Window. A lit candle in the window at Christmas is an Irish tradition that symbolizes welcoming the Holy Family to one’s home, a fitting theme for a young woman whose glow of deep faith draws two rogues to woo her. And yet, by the conclusion of the play and the novel, only one rogue truly responds to the “light in the window” … a light that leads him to God and to the woman of his dreams.

Thanks Julie!


Award-winning author of “The Daughters of Boston” and “Winds of Change” series, Julie Lessman was ACFW’s 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, #1 Historical Fiction Author, #3 Author, #4 Novel, #3 Series, as well as Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and recipient of 14 RWA awards. ContactJulie and read excerpts from her books at


This is it!! Your chance to download Marcy and Patrick O’Connor’s prequel love story A Light in the Window for the lowest price yet–only $ .99!!

Note from Julie: This book is near and dear to my heart, not only because I feel so personally connected to Marcy and Patrick (whose marriage is based on my own), but because my artist hubby designed the cover and my daughter was the model. So I would really like to share this beautiful story with those of you who have not read it, and this is your chance for the lowest price ever! Here are just a few review clips from Amazon:

“This is Lessman’s finest work and will hold your heart captive and wanting more.” — Angi G.

“Any director looking for a good movie script would have their work already done for them. I loved A Light In the Window and couldn’t put it down until I finished it at 5:30 this morning.”– Sunshine

“I finished A Light in the Window at 1am this morning! Wowzers! What an emotional rollercoaster!”  — BizLizy

SO … mark your calendars for MARCH 15, 16 & 17 to download A Light In the Window for ONLY 99 CENTS!!  (a love story for all seasons since it takes place June through May). Here are the links:



Relz Reviewz Extras
Reviews of A Light in the Window, A Love SurrenderedA Hope Revealed,  A Hope UndauntedA Passion Most PureA Passion Redeemed & A Passion Denied
Character spotlights on Sean & EmmaCluny & KatieLizzie & Brady
Julie’s FamilyFiction Plus
Interview with Julie
Visit Julie’s website
Buy A Light in the Window at Amazon or BARNES & NOBLE

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48 Responses to Character Spotlight ~ Julie Lessman’s Marceline, Patrick, & Sam with a giveaway

  1. Good morning, Ms. Lessman! :)

    I stumbled across this blog yesterday, noting that this beautiful bookaway was going to be launched today! :) I put my entry in for *Love At Any Cost* which is your next release! I must say, the more that I read about *A Light in the Window*, the more parellels I am finding about Marcy and her daughters! Your quite right, that the girls are a composite of their mother and vice versa! I think that stems from the fact that they’re a close knit family {something that I can relate too!}, and being as such, their personality traits and character traits tend to be visiable through each of them at different times in their lives! I love when the life of the mother, tends to ‘repeat’ and play out in a daughter’s life… two rogues,… smiles. The premise is quite true, its one thing to follow your heart, but its quite another to remain faithful and have the patience to know which bloke your truly meant to be with in the long term! Its generally the one your not expecting to fall in love and marry, that is the one by whom catches you off guard, and truly, has a better connection with you than the one you suspected might be ‘the one’. I love the realism and heart you put into your stories! And, considering its nearly autobiographical on a certain level, makes this story even more special! What a beautiful gift you gave your readers, by carving a personal touch into the heartwarming family we all feel a part of! And, how lovely that your own family plays such an important role in the scope of this novella!

    Blessing and Light to you this Spring, as your next book launches!
    I cannot wait to see where your creative voice takes you next!!

    • JORIE!!! OH MY GOODNESS … would you believe it NEVER occurred to me that Marcy’s daughter Faith ALSO falls in love with two rogues!!! I must like rogues, I guess, or at least redeeming them … 😉

      Thank you SO much for coming by AND for your kind words, my friend — you are a treasure!!


      • Julie Lessman » Well, if you don’t know by now that you love taming rogues, what hope is there?! Thanks for sharing once again on my blog – it’s always a treat to have you visit!

    • Jorie » Glad you stumbled across the blog, Jorie, and have the chance to win one of Julie’s books :) Thanks for sharing, too – enjoyed your comments.

  2. My dear sweet Julie. I have a question. Why when the other books come in print, would you come out with a prequel to those books in ebook only/ Maxie Anderson

    • Uh-oh, MAXIE … you’re taking me to task, aren’t you, my friend, and trust me … I have a VERY good reason!!

      You see, I pitched the prequel to my publisher over two years ago and they wanted it, but intended to publish it as an e-book first, then a print book in 2014 (keep in mind that this was in 2010 or 2011, can’t remember which. My agent and I decided to take it off the table at that time because we weren’t crazy about that plan. So I just forgot about it until I finished A Love Surrendered, the last O’Connor book. I was SO homesick for the O’Connors after I ended that saga, that I needed a transitional book to move me from the O’Connors to the McClares in my new series, and suddenly I got this overwhelming desire to write Marcy and Patrick’s prequel (which I hadn’t done yet, only pitched the premise to my publisher). So I did and both my agent and I decided we would just experiment with e-pubbing it ourselves since e-pubbing is going through the roof right now. So it all happened kind of fast and furious, more as an experiment and transition for me more than anything. Honestly, I didn’t do it to tick anybody off … 😉

      So I hope that answers your question and I hope you forgive me … 😉 If you do not have an e-reader or do not wish to download a free Kindle app to read e-books on your iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac or Droid, then I do have a few printed, spiral-bound copies of ALITW that I will sign and send to winners if that’s what they want.

      Thanks for coming by and for your support, my friend, and GOOD LUCK!!


  3. Oh I love this! I’ve been putting off reading this book, but I don’t want to O’Connor legacy to end and to not have another book from Julie to read. :) I love seeing who she pictures as her main characters! I have loved them from the first Daughters of Boston book.

    • LOL, SARA … if you don’t want the O’Connor legacy to end, then actually, reading A Light in the Window is the PERFECT thing to do because I have gotten a ton of e-mails from readers saying that when they finish reading ALITW, they have this overpowering urge to dive right back in to The Daughters of Boston (from which, by the way, you will find a Marcy/Patrick excerpt in the back of ALITW — the scene where Patrick goes to the bar and then comes home to tussle with Marcy). So, really, A Light in the Window is like the connection that causes this whole series to be a circle of family love that keeps going on and on and on … :)

      Here’s to a win, my friend, and THANK YOU for coming by!!


    • Sara » Don’t put it off anymore, Sara! You will really enjoy ALITW – it’s a great way to sign off with the O’Connors.

  4. Elizabeth Johnsen

    Love it! :) I agree…prefer your daughter to the model! But if you added the sweetness of Marcy’s character shining out of the models eyes, that would make a big difference! :)

    Like the model for Patrick…with a little extra roughness and rogue to the look! And a younger looking Patrick Dempsey…perfect for Sam!

    Saying all that – well, I don’t really need pictures cause you round out their character and personalities so well that the words are all I need to enjoy the story!! :)

    Loved seeing my Amazon comment! :)

    Can’t wait to get the rest of your books on Kindle!

    And peoples….if you haven’t read A Light in the Window yet – it’s a MUST read!!!! :) You won’t be disappointed!

    • Elizabeth Johnsen » Thanks for commenting, Elizabeth. I have a question for you – do you prefer ebooks to hard copies? I love my Kindle but still nothing compares to a real book for me.

      • Elizabeth Johnsen

        I love holding a book in my hands, yes! I do miss that side of it, being able to take in the front cover, read the back, and have a little mull over it before I delve into it. However, I recently had two books to read and found them heavy to hold and awkward. It seems now, that unless I really want to read a particular book and I have no copy on kindle, that I won’t bother. Crazy…never thought I would be like that! :) Plus I never was able to afford to buy many books, so having so many available free, or more cheaply than hard copies, is great for me!

        • Elizabeth Johnsen » Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth. I agree with you on the convenience and comfort of reading with a Kindle. But there’s nothing like a spine on a shelf – LOL!! Glad a kindle has enabled you to read more economically, too :)

    • ELIZABETH … I TOTALLY agree with you on ALL points!! I searched and searched, but could not find any picture that captured my image of Patrick more than the model above, but I do agree that he’s a little too soft and sweet for Patrick the rogue … or Patrick the married man either! :) And I really wanted Marcy to be classically beautiful with almost white-blonde hair and could not find anyone I liked, so I went with the pic above. Oh, and it goes without saying that we need a younger-looking Patrick Dempsey, although he truly is perfect for Sam!

      Thank you for your kind comment, my sweet friend — you are a TOTAL blessing!!


  5. I love your choices. I read your “Winds of Change” series and will be diving into “Daughters of Boston” and A Light in the Window next. Cool cover and your daughter is gorgeous! I LOVE your choices for Marcy and Patrick. I didn’t realize she was so petite. Your model for Patrick makes it easy picturing Steven my favorite of your Winds of Change heroes. I can picture an adult Patrick Dempsey as a rogue but being a child of the 80s, he’s still the nerd turned popular boy in “Can’t Buy me Love.” Definitely not a roguish role.

    • Gretchen Engel » Hey Gretchen – you’ll enjoy going back and seeing where the O’Connor girls began having read Winds of Change first. Enjoy!

    • Hey, GRETCHEN, THANK YOU!! Sooo thrilled you plan to go back and see how it all started with the DOB series, although you already know the really big surprise in book 1, A Passion Most Pure, but that’s okay. One good thing is that most people HATE Charity after reading APMP first, so at least you will like her from the get-go, knowing she DOES change!!

      Ohhhhh … do you want to see who I picture as Steven??? Check my Fall 2012 newsletter here:


      Good luck in the contest!


  6. Oh so wonderful to see Julie here! This cover/book makes my heart melt. So well done with a classic Julie touch yet far, far more! I will share:) Don’t even get me started on the author behind it! I will share with JOY…

    • Laura Frantz » Lovely Laura ~ your joy and enthusiasm for others is such a blessing and encouragement. Always, always brings a smile to my face when you visit. Hugs xo

    • Aw, LAURA, you ALWAYS bring a big smile to my face, my friend — love you to pieces!! Thanks for sharing and for coming by, but MOST OF ALL, for your precious friendship!!

      Love you!

  7. I agree with the male pics but think the female pic is a little too professionally made-up to be Marcy who is my favorite character!

    • Rose McCauley » I think it is often hard to see our favourite characters through someone else’s eyes – even the author’s!! They can be such a fixture in our minds, right?

    • Hey, ROSE, like I told Elizabeth above, I couldn’t really find someone classically beautiful and sweet at the same time who had super light-blonde hair (which is how I picture Marcy), so this model was as close as I could come. Somethings you look and look on line and finally have to just grab something because before you know it, hours have passed, which was the case here.

      But I agree with Rel — no two people see a character the same way, which is why I was glad when Revell told me they weren’t planning on including the hero pix on my second series. It’s just too hard to get it right, and I’d rather not show them at all then get a wrong look for the hero, who is KEY in a romance novel, at least to the reader!!

      Thanks for coming by, my friend, and here’s to a win!!


  8. Lady DragonKeeper

    Haha, I never thought of Patrick as a “pretty boy” –though it was alluded in “APMP” that he had been quite similar to Collin (including their dark good looks), so it makes sense. However, that photo of “Sam” is way better looking that what my mind had conjured up (but I am a biased fan of Patrick anyway) … =) If “Marcy” had a period hairstyle, I think you could picture her better.

    $.99? I’ll have to pick it up then! I think I remember hearing you added a scene that was alluded in the “DoB” books that wasn’t in the earlier version of “ALitW”?

    • Hey, LDK … soooo good to see you here, girl … are you on spring break???

      Yeah, I think Patrick Dempsey is PERFECT for Sam or as near perfect as I could come.

      YES!!! Only 99 cents, so do pick it up. Although, I will be honest and tell you that although I did write an additional scene depicting the kiss between Marcy and Sam the morning of the wedding, my agent did not like it, so I ditched it. BUT … I did add a single paragraph referencing that “encounter” plus re-edited the entire book to soften Marcy’s stance toward Patrick and make Sam not such a bad guy, so it would be interesting to see if you think I accomplished that.

      If you do buy it, Jenn, let me know and I will be happy to e-mail you the scene I wrote about the wedding morning, which never made the book.



      • Lady DragonKeeper

        I wish it was spring break … I have to wait two more weeks. 😉

        Ah, I can understand that –I liked how it ended after his exit. Re-edits? I’m definitely intrigued … I’ll probably email you this weekend then! =)

        • Lady DragonKeeper

          Oops, forgot to add that I’d second Vince’s comment on Seekerville that Amanda Seyfried would be great as Marcy!

  9. I’ve been a quiet stalker of RelzReviewz Character Spotlights for a while now as I love to read behind the scenes facts about a story and see how the author imagines them. I just love the pics for these characters. Exactly how I would have imagined them younger. Can’t wait to read ALITW!

    • Oh, me too, Natalie — I love RELZ REVIEWZ even though I don’t always leave a comment. Thank you SO much for agreeing with my choices because most people don’t, I think, so it’s nice you and I think alike. Hopefully that means you will like ALITW as much as I do too! 😉

      GOOD LUCK in the contest!


    • Natalie Monk » Great to meet you, quiet stalker 😉 I’m thrilled that you’ve taken the time to comment, Natalie, and appreciate your comments about the character spotlights! Have a lovely day…

  10. Julie, As I read “A light in the Window”, I looked at a pile of boxes and papers that got to my home. It has the history items from our family of Mom, Dad, and 12 children of whom I am #2. I look at the things and get the idea of writing a book based on the family. My Dad is now 94 and just moved from our home after 2 years to a nursing home. He is also a writer and has so much information in his file here. I know it would not be like your books, but your O’Connor stories are so great. I could make up a lot of between unrecorded times. You are amazing and a real challenge-maker. Romance writing keeps your books moving and motivates readers and writers.
    Friends forever, Wanda

    • Aw, WANDA, thank you for your kind words, my friend, and WOW, with all that family history in your hands, YOU need to follow your heart on this, girl, and WRITE that novel!!! And you don’t want it to be “like” mine … because it’s YOURS, uniquely and wonderfully you and your family, so get cranking, you hear???

      Thanks SO much for coming by, Wanda, and have a great weekend (and good luck in the contest!). :)


  11. I have read all of your books that are out. I liked them all but my very favorite is a Love Surrendered. I would really like to win the one coming out in April.

    • Hey, VONEICE, thank you SO much for reading my books — MUCH appreciated!! And I don’t know if you get my newsletter, but if you don’t I’d love you to sign up because I have a Review-posting contest going on where you can win having a character named after you in my next book, a $50 gift card, and a signed copy of the book you’re in. Those who never have posted a review for any of my books before have a definite advantage over those who have already done so in another of my contests, so TAKE ADVANTAGE!! Even one review posted enters you to have a bit character named after you and a free signed book, okay?

      Here’s the newsletter link if you want it:

      And I really hope you like Love at Any Cost. It’s a departure from my other books because it’s lighter, funnier, shorter, less complicated, and less passionate both spiritually and romantically, so let me know what you think. Uh, that is … if you like it. If not … well, never mind. 😐

      I don’t know if you’ve read A Light in the Window, but if not, don’t forget it’s only 99 cents starting tomorrow through Sunday!!

      Hugs and happy weekend!

  12. I have read all of your books that are out. I liked them all, but my very favorite is A Love Surrendered. I would really like to win the one coming out in April.

  13. Hi Julie, Truthfully, I have not yet read your books. But, I am looking forward to picking one up and reading the different selection of books you have. Thanks for this opportunity to win.

    • LINDA!!! I like you already because I am a bottom-line kind of gal who SO appreciates the truth, so I appreciate your comment.

      So you’ve never read my books before, eh? Well, we’re just going to have to remedy that, now aren’t we?? I like to encourage people who have never read me before to check out the “Excerpts” tab of my website at the link below to read samples of my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes for each of my books, because that will give you a good idea of my style of “passion with a purpose” writing. If you only have time for one excerpt, I suggest scrolling down for the romantic scene from A Hope Undaunted because that’s my fave!!

      AND GUESS WHAT?? Book 1 in the 2nd series, A Hope Undaunted, is available for free download RIGHT NOW, so I hope you take advantage. :)

      Here’s the “Excerpts” link to give you a sneak peek at what to expect: JULIE’S EXCERPTS

      Good luck in Rel’s contest and thanks for coming by!


  14. I am a bad friend – didn’t scroll down to say HI! Trying to enter every day before we head to the mountains & the land of no internet! HI HI HI!

    • LOL!! No, you are a GOOD friend because you came back!! 😉 I know that a lot of people think the book selection above is all there is, so they don’t leave a comment, which is why I’ve been telling people to scroll down and say “hi.” Thanks for listening to me, my friend, and safe travels!!


  15. Julie, this amuses me so much because I paint very vivid pictures in my mind of the characters and homes in the books I read. Marcy and Patrick and their home is very ‘set’ to me in the appearance and layout and it is NOTHING like you have posted here, so I had to have a good giggle. I love how God made the mind to work, giving us all such imagination.

    I have yet to read A Love Surrendered (sadly) but I will be able to snag up A Light In The Window at that price point! I love your books and tell everyone about them. :)

    • LOL, VICTORIA, ain’t that the truth??? We are all so different in how we picture the characters, etc., which is why I was thrilled when my publisher stopped putting the heroes on my covers. There is just NO WAY you can get a hero right to a reader (except for Collin in APMP … they sure got that right, didn’t they???). Ironically, the original pic they sent me of Collin was NOT GOOD because he looked like a wimp. So I asked them if they had any others, and they said only one, but that nobody thought it would work because he looked angry. I asked them to send it to me and VOILA — the brooding Collin McGuire was born, which fit him perfectly since he was always angry at Faith and her God. :)

      Thank you for “snagging” ALITW tomorrow through Sunday, my friend — MUCH appreciated, and did you know that A Love Surrendered is also on sale right now for the e-book? Only $5.79 because it’s part of the Winds of Change, the first of which (A Hope Undaunted) is now available for free download, so I hope you take advantage of that too.

      Happy reading, my friend, and GOOD LUCK!!


  16. Hi Julie

    I don’t think I have to tell you how fond I am of your books. 😉 Can’t wait for Love At Any Cost to come out! I do miss the O’Connors but I know there will someone else for me to fall for in this series. Maybe someone like Collin ~sigh~ Love the pictures..not quite how I pictured Patrick or Marceline but I could see Sam as Dr. McDreamy. lol
    Thanks for the giveaway! HOPE I’M A WINNER!!! 😀

    • TERESA!!! Soooo good to see you here, my friend, and I would LOVE to see you win this, you sweet thing, so GOOD LUCK!!

      LOL … Dr. McDreamy, indeed!! He is perfect for Sam, but I wish I could have found someone a wee bit more rugged/roguish for Patrick … :)


  17. Would you believe it, i dont have the second book …pout

    • Oh, LINDA, I saw your post on FB and I came right over here to see if you had left a comment because I wanted to make sure you entered this contest so maybe I could send you the 2nd book that way!!

      Good luck, my friend, and if nothing else, check out my website calendar every week to stay on top of any giveaways I have going. Odds are pretty good on giveaways, actually as I have had at least six reader friends who have won a total of 5-6 books from me over the last few years, so don’t give up!!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!

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