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Thursday, January 06, 2011

CFBA Blog Tour - Julie Klassen and The Girl in the Gatehouse

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Girl in the Gatehouse
Bethany House (January 1, 2010)
by Julie Klassen


Julie says: My background is in advertising and marketing, but I am blessed with a dream job—working as an editor of Christian fiction. I have been writing since childhood, but Lady of Milkweed Manor was my first novel. It was a finalist for a Christy Award and won second place in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards. My second novel, The Apothecary's Daughter, was a finalist in the ACFW Book of the Year awards. I am currently writing one novel a year.

I graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends.

My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Girl in the Gatehouse
by Julie Klassen
Published by Bethany House


Miss Mariah Aubrey, banished after a scandal, hides herself away in a long-abandoned gatehouse on the far edge of a distant relative's estate. There, she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how--by writing novels in secret.

Captain Matthew Bryant, returning to England successful and wealthy after the Napoleonic wars, leases an impressive estate from a cash-poor nobleman, determined to show the society beauty who once rejected him what a colossal mistake she made.

When he discovers an old gatehouse on the property, he is immediately intrigued by its striking young inhabitant and sets out to uncover her identity, and her past. But the more he learns about her, the more he realizes he must distance himself. Falling in love with an outcast would ruin his well-laid plans. The old gatehouse holds secrets of its own. Can Mariah and Captain Bryant uncover them before the cunning heir to the estate buries them forever?

If you would like to read the prologue of The Girl in the Gatehouse, go HERE.

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As soon as this book arrived in my mailbox, I eagerly tore open the envelope and set the book on the nightstand, anticipating the start that evening at bedtime. With a toddler and a new baby on the way, plus my own writing deadlines, nighttime is the only "free" time I have...much to my chagrin. But, I knew any book by Julie Klassen was a MUST HAVE. Ever since we met at an ACFW Conference in Minneapolis and sat next to each other at lunch, I was excited about her books. And like her others before this one, I was not disappointed. Julie is a Christy-award winner and RITA award finalist. And with substantial reason.

It was almost a guilty pleasure turning the pages and reading each chapter. I wish I could have stayed up on all night, but alas, duty calls, and it took me about a week to finish. Since becoming an author myself, I confess to becoming much pickier in regard to which books I read and my opinions or reviews of them. Julie has yet to disappoint. And considering she works for Bethany House, I have a feeling she never will. She has her finger on the pulsepoint of what readers AND writers love. What an excellent example of top-notch storyline, characters, and plot, all rolled into one enticing package.

To top all this, the book was filled with quotes from books by Jane Austen. And what fan of historical fiction could NOT love that? The references lent an air of familiarity to the book and made me feel like I was holding a long-lost treasure in my hands, instead of a brand new book.

This book is a true delight, and I recommend it wholeheartedly to any fan of historical fiction, but more specifically to any fan of the Regency era. Julie has captured this era with such skill, you'd think she lived during those times. :) This read was quite a treat.

* * * * *


Sylvia said...

I love Julie Klassen's books. I received for Christmas from my sister. After finishing the books I was currently reading I have started this one today. Even though I'm not very far into it yet I can tell it will be another great story. Even though her books are considered Regency and are advertised as being like Jane Austen books I always get a slight Dickens feel to them more so than Austen.

By the way, have the winners been announced for the books on giveaway in the last several weeks? Were they privately announced and just not posted on a blog post?

Sylvia said...

I meant to say that I received "The Girl In the Gatehouse" for Christmas. I tried putting it in italics and it ended up not putting the title in at all. Sorry!

Mocha with Linda said...

I loved this book and her other ones as well!

Martha A. said...

I am going to have to get this book! I love her other ones. Who cannot love a book with Jane Austen quotes in it?