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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

CFBA Blog Tour - Julie Klassen and The Silent Governess

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Silent Governess
Bethany House; original edition - (January 1, 2010)
by Julie Klassen


JULIE KLASSEN 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.

by Julie Klassen
Published by Bethany House


Olivia Keene is fleeing her own secret. She never intended to overhear his.

But now that she has, what is Lord Bradley to do with her? He cannot let her go, for were the truth to get out, he would lose everything--his reputation, his inheritance, his very home.

He gives Miss Keene little choice but to accept a post at Brightwell Court, where he can make certain she does not spread what she heard. Keeping an eye on the young woman as she cares for the children, he finds himself drawn to her, even as he struggles against the growing attraction. The clever Miss Keene is definitely hiding something.

Moving, mysterious, and romantic, The Silent Governess takes readers inside the intriguing life of a nineteenth-century governess in an English manor house where all is not as it appears.

If you would like to read the prologue and first chapter of The Silent Governess, go HERE. You can also sign up as a Follower when you get to that page, and get announcements of the first chapters for all the great books we tour!

Readers, buy your copy of The Silent Governess today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

The original idea for this novel was inspired by Mahler’s Third Symphony, which I heard on a long, solo car trip. Even though I rarely listen to classical music, that day as I did, whole scenes spun forth like a movie in my mind. Also, I have been intrigued by English governesses ever since my 6th grade teacher read Jane Eyre aloud to the class (with real emotion and even mascara-tears). My research into real-life governesses also inspired and shaped The Silent Governess.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

I intentionally try not to write about myself. I don't want all my characters to sound and think like me. However, an occasional anecdote from my childhood might sneak in from time to time. Also, I seem to like to give my heroines traits I wish I had. Lilly Haswell (The Apothecary’s Daughter) has a nearly flawless memory (I don't), and Olivia Keene (The Silent Governess) is a genius with numbers. Given complex arithmetic problems, Olivia instantly "sees" the numbers and solution in her mind. Wouldn't that have been nice back in school!

3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Olivia Keene would be something British (English Toffee? Currant & English Walnut?) with many hidden ingredients, because there is more to her (more depth, more secrets, more capabilities) than initially meets the eye.

4. Are there any themes in The Silent Governess that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the stories progressed?

One theme relates to identity--that we would all do well to ground our identity in our relationship with God, and not on someone or something else (family, profession, status, church). I also hope that readers who grew up with less-than-ideal dads will realize anew that, unlike imperfect earthly fathers, our Heavenly Father is just, yet merciful and endlessly loving.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

I struggled with several scenes that involve inheritance laws of the day, since I had to search out antiquated laws, navigate parliamentary procedures, and try to decipher unfamiliar legal language. "Legalese" is not a modern invention! But with help from some learned writer-friends, I hopefully managed to get the facts straight.

I really enjoyed writing the romantic scenes, of course, and scenes with the children (especially the boy, who was inspired by two rambunctious boys of my own). But, unexpectedly, my favorite scenes feature the book’s most curmudgeonly character. I hope readers will enjoy them as well.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

My next book is contracted and scheduled to come out in December 2010 (Lord willing). I have begun working on it, and can tell you that it is set in early 19th-century England as my other novels have been. I haven’t settled on a title yet, but will post more information on my web site ( when I can.

* * * * *

Thank you, Julie, for being in the spotlight.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win your choice of a FREE autographed copy of The Silent Governess.

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when the winners are announced each time.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.


adge said...

I have read both of Julie Klassen's other books and thought they were great. They were both very creative also which made reading them all the more fun. Please include me in the giveaway. Thank you. gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

Casey said...

Oh, please enter me! I read Lady of Milkweed Manor and loved it! That was a hard book to return to the library.


Merry said...

The Silent Governess sounds so mysterious and romantic, please include me, I'd love to win it! Thanks.


Edna said...

please enter me into the contest, I am a follower


Cherie J said...

Please enter me in the drawing, I enjoyed the interview. Thank you!


Anonymous said...

I have been so anxious to read this one! Please enter me. Thanks!!

Julie Klassen said...

Hi all. Nice to "meet" some fans and new readers, too. Hope whoever wins will enjoy the book!

Sylvia M. said...

I really enjoyed the first two books, so would like to sign up to win this one.


Rebecca Herman said...

Sounds good! please enter me.

rebecca191 at aol dot com

Emma said...

Good INTERVIEW.The Silent Governess sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

Carole said...

I love the English setting and time period of this book and can appreciate all the effort that went into researching the inheritance laws of that day. Thank you for an interesting interview and chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Michelle said...

Thank you for entering me!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Giveaway Lady said...

OOO!!! I have been wanting to read this one:) Please enter me. Thanks!!


Martha A. said...

Julie looks so young!!! And her books are so good!!!
I would love to read this one! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Julie Klassen said...

Thanks Martha. I'm not so young, but isn't photoshop great?! ;^) said...

This sounds like a very good book, please enter me in the giveaway. I'd love to read it.

Carolynn said...

I haven't read any Julie Klassen books yet. They sure sound great though, thanks for the chance to win!
carolynnwald [at]hotmail [dot]com

Rosalie Patience said...

I've read the excerpt on this one several times and it sounds amazing!! Please enter me in the drawing. ~Abby

Karin said...

Mysterious and romantic--- ooh, who can resist that?!

karin56381 (at)

Martha A. said...

Julie!!! You photoshopped your picture? I want to see a real picture then!!! = )

success4teeninfo said...

Hi Julie,

I write for teens and I will love to be interviewed on your blog.
Visit my site at, to read some of my books.
Thanks for your interest.

Laura Lyseight.