The Sisters of Sea View by Julie Klassen

Thank you for joining me today as I feature The Sisters of Sea View by Julie Klassen on my blog, on tour with Austen Prose Tours!

Book Details

  • Title: The Sisters of Sea View
  • Series: On Devonshire Shores (Book 1)
  • Author: Julie Klassen
  • Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
  • Publisher: ‎Bethany House Publishers (December 6, 2022)
  • Length: 448 pages
  • Format: hardcover, trade paperback, & eBook 
  • ISBN: 978-0764234262
  • Tour Dates: November 28 – December 12, 2022

Book Description

Some guests have come for a holiday, others for hidden reasons of their own . . .

When their father’s death leaves them impoverished, Sarah Summers and her genteel sisters fear they will be forced to sell the house and separate to earn livelihoods as governesses or companions. Determined to stay together, Sarah convinces them to open their seaside home to guests to make ends meet and provide for their ailing mother. Instead of the elderly invalids they expect to receive, however, they find themselves hosting eligible gentlemen. Sarah is soon torn between a growing attraction to a mysterious Scottish widower and duty to her family.

Viola Summers wears a veil to cover her scar. When forced to choose between helping in her family’s new guest house and earning money to hire a maid to do her share, she chooses the latter. She reluctantly agrees to read to some of Sidmouth’s many invalids, preferring the company of a few elders with failing eyesight to the fashionable guests staying in their home. But when her first client turns out to be a wounded officer in his thirties, Viola soon wishes she had chosen differently. Her new situation exposes her scars–both visible and those hidden deep within–and her cloistered heart will never be the same.

Join the Summers sisters on the Devonshire coast, where they discover the power of friendship, loyalty, love, and new beginnings.

About the Author

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Her books have sold over a million copies, and she is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award and has been a finalist in the RITA and Carol Awards. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.


Video Interview with Julie

Advance Praise

  • “Jane Austen fans will delight in this nimble series launch…Klassen excels at weaving her various story lines, each emphasizing the colorful qualities of her characters and allowing them the space to shine. Readers will be eager for the next installment.” —Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
  • “Julie Klassen delights with a winsome love story…” —Publisher’s Weekly, on A Castaway in Cornwall
  • “I couldn’t put it down! It you are a historical fiction fan you need this one on your radar! It was a spooky delight full of heart. ”—Anne Mendez, The Lit Bitch, on Shadows of Swanford Abbey
  • “…a wonderfully engaging novel full of intriguing characters and storylines. I highly recommend it and can’t wait for more in the series.” —Laura Gerold, Laura’s Reviews, on The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

Purchase Links


My Thoughts

Another incredible novel by a truly talented writer, Julie Klassen pens a story that is captivating and mesmerizing.  I love the way this author tells stories by creating characters with realistic flaws, wonderful depth, and great growth that makes me feel like I get to know real people from long ago.  I enjoyed getting to know Sarah and Viola in this novel and their journey was something that I was easily invested in as I longed to find out if they had happy endings.  I am excited to read the next story in the series to see if each gets her happily ever after.  I really liked the exploration of both the physical scars and hidden scars of Viola and Jack.  The setting is perfect for the character growth and mysteries surrounding the characters.  I could also envision strolling along the sea with the sisters.  The spiritual truths are also well woven and do not feel preachy.  I really enjoyed this novel and cannot wait to read the next one in the series.  Most highly recommended!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers, courtesy of Austen Prose Tours with Laurel Ann Nattress.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Thanks for stopping by!

Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen

Thank you for joining me on the Austen Prose tour with Laurel Ann Nattress for Julie Klassen’s newest release, Shadows of Swanford Abbey!

What a stunning cover!

Quick Facts

  • Title: Shadows of Swanford Abbey
  • Author: Julie Klassen
  • Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Suspense, Inspirational Fiction
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
  • Publication Date: December 7, 2021
  • Length: 416 pages
  • Format: Hardcover, trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 
  • Tour Dates: December 6-17, 2021

About the Book

Agatha Christie meets Jane Austen in this atmospheric Regency tale brimming with mystery, intrigue, and romance.

When Miss Rebecca Lane returns to her home village after a few years away, her brother begs for a favor: go to nearby Swanford Abbey and deliver his manuscript to an author staying there who could help him get published. Feeling responsible for her brother’s desperate state, she reluctantly agrees.

The medieval monastery turned grand hotel is rumored to be haunted. Once there, Rebecca begins noticing strange things, including a figure in a hooded black gown gliding silently through the abbey’s cloisters. For all its renovations and veneer of luxury, the ancient foundations seem to echo with whispers of the past–including her own. For there she encounters Sir Frederick—magistrate, widower, and former neighbor—who long ago broke her heart.

When the famous author is found murdered in the abbey, Sir Frederick begins questioning staff and guests and quickly discovers that several people held grudges against the man, including Miss Lane and her brother. Haunted by a painful betrayal in his past, Sir Frederick searches for answers but is torn between his growing feelings for Rebecca and his pursuit of the truth. For Miss Lane is clearly hiding something…

About the Author

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Her books have sold over a million copies, and she is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award and has been a finalist in the RITA and Carol Awards. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.  Visit her online at:



More from Julie

Author Julie Klassen shares her inspiration for Shadows of Swanford Abbey


My Thoughts

Julie Klassen is one of my favorite authors because she can write novels with great historical detail, fantastic character development, multiple surprising twists, and amazingly complex plots! This novel is true to her style with intrigue and romance galore! This book has even more of a mystery with a “who done it” theme than some of her past novels and I found myself reading late into the night to discover the villain and the conclusion. The romance is well integrated (although not front and center like the mystery is) and I loved the development of the relationship of the two long time friends. There are fun characters with wit to lighten the plot as well and I found myself chuckling a time or two at Lady Fitzhowards. I truly did not want this novel to end and found myself savoring the rich descriptions and historical setting. This is not a novel to miss! I most highly recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from an Austen Prose tour with Laurel Ann Nattress.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Advance Praise

“A brilliant Agatha Christie-esque whodunit by reader favorite Julie Klassen. Set in the creepy atmosphere of an old abbey, Shadows of Swanford Abbey will keep you guessing until the very end. There’s plenty of danger, intrigue, and—yes—romance to delight Regency-era lovers of all ages. Truly a don’t-miss read!”—Michelle Griep, Christy Award-winning author of Once Upon a Dickens Christmas

“If you enjoy historical fiction with equal blends MYSTERY (suspense) and ROMANCE, then I recommend Shadows of Swanford Abbey with you wholeheartedly without any reservations. This may just be my FAVORITE Klassen novel yet.”—Becky Laney, Becky’s Book Reviews“Once again Julie Klassen has delivered an intriguing book with all kinds of mystery and a few ghosts added in made it all worth the midnight oil I burned because I didn’t want to put it down!”—Lori Parrish, Red Headed Book Lady

Thanks for stopping by!

Celebrate Lit Tour – An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie Klassen

an ivy hill banner (2)

About the Book

Book: An Ivy Hill Christmas

Author: Julie Klassen

Genre: Christmas Historical Romance

Release Date: September 2020

Ivy Hill Christmas

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents many surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled–and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, and joyous songs, change his heart . . . and hers as well?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Klassen Julie

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for 16 years and now writes full-time. Her novels have sold over 1 million copies, and three of her books, The Silent GovernessThe Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and a Christian Retailing‘s Best Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

More from Julie

My fascination with England began as a girl when I read The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre, and watched A Christmas Carol. I have now been to Great Britain several times, and my affection for the place has only grown. I love the country villages with their stone buildings and thatched roofs, the narrow, winding roads (though not driving on them), the ancient churches, friendly people, plummy accents, and history. Writing fifteen novels set there has been a real pleasure.

An Ivy Hill Christmas includes all the elements of an idyllic Olde English yuletide: A charming village setting, snowfall, mistletoe, caroling, gifts for less fortunate neighbors, and festive gatherings of friends and family. I thoroughly enjoyed researching 19th century Christmas traditions and weaving them into this novella.

In the story, a confirmed bachelor is determined to remain aloof from the celebrations going on around him—and from his mother’s matchmaking schemes. But divine hope, friendship, and unexpected romance change his heart…and his mind.  I love a transformation story; don’t you?

If you’ve read the TALES FROM IVY HILL series, you will enjoy returning to the village and spending time with favorite characters. But rest assured, the novella is a standalone, meaning you can enjoy it whether or not you’ve read the other books, as these reviews attest:

“[A] standalone novella that not only beautifully captures the kindness, hope, love, and faith of Christmas but also skillfully evokes the period holiday atmosphere of Regency England.”  —Booklist

“This feel-good tale of love and redemption will delight Klassen’s fans and new readers alike.” Publishers Weekly

And if you like the novella, I think you will like the other books as well. An Ivy Hill Christmas would also make a lovely gift for a reading friend.

Finally, if you want to add a British flair to your own modern-day celebrations, buy (or make) mince tarts or Christmas pudding, place Christmas “crackers” (pull-apart gift tubes) on your table and wear the included paper crowns. Refer to Father Christmas instead of Santa; and instead of “Merry,” wish everyone a hearty, “Happy Christmas.”

Happy Christmas!

My Thoughts

Julie Klassen is a gifted storyteller, and it did not take many pages for me to be swept into the holiday cheer of Regency England in this novella.  I liked the characters a lot, especially Arabella, (and, yes, eventually even Richard) and was impressed with their development and growth in the short novella.  I enjoy stories where characters have a background as friends first and really enjoyed their interactions.  I like the historical aspect of the story and the descriptions of Regency-era Christmas traditions.  There is good integration of second chances and forgiveness as well.  You do not need to read the entire Ivy Hill series to enjoy this novella but you will definitely encounter familiar characters by reading the rest of the series.  I really liked reading this novella and highly recommend it!

I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from Celebrate Lit Tours.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Blog Stops

Through the Lens of Scripture, November 30

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 30

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 30

Christian Bookaholic, November 30

Andrea Christenson, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, December 1

KarenSueHadley, December 1

Robin’s Nest, December 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 1

Blessed & Bookish, December 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 2

Mia Reads, December 2

Wishful Endings, December 3

lakesidelivingsite, December 3

Through the Fire Blogs, December 3

For Him and My Family, December 3

Just Your Average reviews, December 3

She Lives To Read, December 4

Remembrancy, December 4

deb’s Book Review, December 4

Writing from the Heart Land, December 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 5

Quiet Workings, December 5

Blogging With Carol, December 5

Spoken from the Heart, December 5

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 6

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 6

Connect in Fiction, December 6

Artistic Nobody, December 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Worthy2Read, December 7

Genesis 5020, December 7

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 7

Inklings and notions, December 7

Life of Literature, December 7

For the Love of Literature, December 8

Connie’s History Classroom, December 8

Batya’s Bits, December 8

Labor Not in Vain, December 8

Hallie Reads, December 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 9

Older & Smarter?, December 9

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 9

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 9

Betti Mace, December 9

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 10

Faery Tales Are Real, December 10

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, December 10

Mary Hake, December 10

Daysong Reflections, December 11

Bigreadersite, December 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 11

Splashes of Joy, December 11

Vicky Sluiter, December 12

To Everything There Is A Season, December 12

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, December 12

Blossoms and Blessings, December 12

The Write Escape, December 12

A Baker’s Perspective, December 13

Bizwings Blog, December 13

Simple Harvest Reads, December 13 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, December 13

And now… a giveaway!

To celebrate her tour, Julie is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of An Ivy Hill Christmas and the other three books in the Ivy Hill series, plus the winner’s choice of Bingley’s Tea!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Thanks for stopping by!

A Castaway in Cornwall by Julie Klassen

About the Book

Every day, Laura Callaway walks the windswept Cornwall coast—known for its deadly shipwrecks. When an injured man is washed ashore, she cares for his wounds while the mystery surrounding him grows. Who is this stranger? What could account for his odd accent? And will their budding attraction survive when he returns to his rightful home? 

My Thoughts

Bursting with enticing characters, an intriguing plot, and interesting twists, this novel had no trouble keeping my attention from start to finish.  I love how the author focuses on developing characters with raw and realistic depth, full of flaws that make them real but also growth that makes you cheer for them along the way.  The romance develops slowly in that perfect way that makes it seem authentic, and their relationship is sweet and genuine.  I really liked the mystery woven in the story that made the plot unpredictable and kept me guessing.  The spiritual themes are well integrated without being preachy.  I really enjoyed this novel and look forward to more by this talented author!  Highly recommended!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

The Bridge to Belle Island by Julie Klassen

The Bridge to Belle Island book cover.jpg

After a failed case, lawyer Benjamin Booker has one more chance to prove himself to his associates by investigating the sudden death of his senior partner.  His search takes him to a remote island on the Thames—and its elusive and beautiful guardian, Isabelle.  Determined not to let a pretty face stray him from his task again, he begins to wonder if Isabelle knows more than she is letting on.

Julie Klassen once again pens a book with a creative plot, the mystery surrounding the death of Percival Norris entirely unpredictable as she takes you on a journey wherein by the end of the story, you have probably suspected every character of being involved! The book definitely held my interest and I had trouble putting it down!  I loved the slow building suspense as you get to know the characters, their flaws and pasts detailed for you to connect with them as they grow and change. I really liked how Isabelle is a kind and caring person, but she also harbors fear of the unknown, of change, and of leaving what is comfortable for her.  The romance is clean and sweet.  I liked the bits of history and descriptions of the scenes that made it easy to envision the setting.  The spiritual content is flawlessly woven among the story.  I am a big fan of Julie Klassen and really love her books!  This is definitely a book that I recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage book cover

Miss Rachel Ashford has survived the stigma of her father’s failures, the loss of her family, and the humiliation of being driven from her home by distant relatives. She is determined not to rely on the gracious generosity of her hostess Mercy Grove but instead to earn her livelihood. Encouraged by her friends to open a circulating library, Rachel is tentatively excited to share her father’s extensive library collection with the community. As strange events begin to occur, she enlists the help of an old friend to help her unravel old mysteries. Along the way, Rachel’s heart may become more entwined than she had intended.

I enjoyed the first novel in this new series by Julie Klassen and was excited about the continuing story. The writing style is reminiscent of a novel by Jane Austen with its tender and rich sentences and well-written style. I had a little trouble getting into the book initially as it was slow to start, but true to her other novels, the story soon had multiple layers of mystery that drew me in and kept me interested. It was also wonderful to catch up with characters from the first novel. I would read the series in order, but it should be no hardship to read the first book, as it is just as good. I recommend this series and cannot wait for book number three!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen


Jane Bell suddenly finds herself reluctant landlady of The Bell, a historic coaching inn in the quaint village of Ivy Hill. Jane is unsure why she was left the inn since she has no experience managing it and learns it has a substantial debt attached to it, a debt she is uncertain she will ever be able to repay. She hesitantly turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for assistance, hoping Thora’s experience managing the inn can save them. Thora has her own reasons for returning to Ivy Hill, but she did not expect to interact with two men from her past, nor did she expect the feelings they stir in her. As Jane and Thora are forced to work together to save the inn, they both learn new things about themselves and about their relationships with others.

I have always loved Julie Klassen’s novels due to the wonderful character depth, poignant scenes, and fascinating storylines. This is the author’s first installment in her first series and, due to this, I thought the storyline and character depth developed at a slower pace than her previous novels. It took me just a little longer to connect with the characters, but like all of her books, once I understood them better, I did indeed enjoy reading about them. This particular novel set up the stage well for subsequent books. The point of view in this book is interesting as it alternates only between two females, and I must say I missed the male perspective. I am greatly anticipating the next book and cannot wait to see how the characters continue to develop. Like all of Julie Klassen’s books, I recommend this novel!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Lady Maybe by Julie Klassen


Normally I attempt to summarize the plot rather than simply copy and paste the publisher’s description, if only to give my readers another perspective on the book. However, this novel has many secrets, and for fear of giving them away, I decided to simply paste the publisher’s description to hint as to the book’s contents:

One final cry and suddenly her world shifted violently, until a blinding collision scattered her mind and shook her bones. Then, the pain. The freezing water. And as all sensation drifted away, a hand reached for hers, before all faded into darkness. Now she has awakened as though from some strange, suffocating dream in a warm and welcoming room she has never seen before, and tended to by kind, unfamiliar faces. But not all has been swept away. She recalls fragments of the accident. She remembers a baby. And a ring on her finger reminds her of a lie. But most of all, there is a secret. And in this house of strangers she can trust no one but herself to keep it.

I am a big fan of Julie Klassen and attempt to read her novels as soon as they release, knowing that her books never disappoint. I must say I particularly loved this novel, and it has risen, in my mind, as one of her best works. It is difficult to specifically say what it is I loved about this book for there is a fair amount of mystery throughout the novel that I would hate to give away, but suffice it to say that the characters are so well written that their sins and their faults, although perhaps not exactly similar to my own sins, nonetheless drew me in because the feelings of remorse and regret are not unlike what I experience when I disappoint God. I absolutely loved the theme of forgiveness in the novel and the never-ending grace of God. I think readers need to realize that women in the early 1800s faced a much different world than the one we face today; not excusing, perhaps, all the sins of the protagonists, but certainly allowing a certain understanding for this particular reader. The scenes are so beautifully told, the romance so achingly unexpected, the characters so broken and healed, and the plot so mysterious and surprising, with twists and turns that made it most difficult to put the book down. It is impossible, I think, not to fall in love with the characters and identify yourself with even small fragments of their pain, love, and difficult choices. It is true that some romantic scenes may be more detailed than Julie’s earlier works, but I did not think them too graphic for Christian fiction. I most highly recommend this novel.

The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

The Painter’s Daughter book cover

Sophie Dupont adores the northern Devon coast, contentedly painting the picturesque landscape in addition to assisting her father in his studio. When a handsome and suave boarder sweeps in one summer, Sophie finds herself caught in his romantic promises. But as quickly as he swoops in, Wesley Overtree is gone again, leaving her in a new predicament. Captain Stephen Overtree arrives in town soon after, searching for his brother. Instead he meets young Sophie, and feels duty bound to extend Sophie an offer she cannot refuse. With an uncertain future, he does not suspect he will be long for the world and simply hopes to provide a comfortable future for the shy girl. Sophie must then choose between her head and her heart, between the practical, brooding Captain and the reckless, handsome Wesley, before it is too late.

Julie Klassen never disappoints! This novel is full of beautiful landscapes descriptively painted, deep characters poignantly told, and interesting plot twists masterfully woven. I fell in love with Sophie and with Stephen, each of their personalities so rich. Their pasts may not perfect, but they possess great honor and strength that allows them to recognize their mistakes and overcome them; indeed, I enjoyed reading about the characters and their significant depth the most. In addition, this story has exceptional Biblical principles so wonderfully intertwined that it is never cheesy or preachy in nature. There is even a bit of suspense and mystery that makes the plot very interesting and keeps the reader’s attention during the entire novel. I am thrilled to keep this exceptional story on my shelf to read again and again. I really enjoyed this book and most highly recommend it to all lovers of historical fiction!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

The Secret of Pembrooke Park: Behind the Scenes Tour and Book Trailer!

A couple of fun links to check out, both related to The Secret of Pembrooke Park, a fantastic new historical fiction novel by Julie Klassen!  If you have not yet read this book, be sure to get your copy today!  It has suspense, history, romance, mystery, and secrets galore!

Behind the scenes tour by the author herself while visiting the manor behind her inspiration for Pembrooke Park in England.

A book trailer if you would like to find out more about this exciting novel!