Friday, January 24, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature-Julie Klassen

Today I welcome a sweet person who masterfully writes the stories she dreams: 
author Julie Klassen

Enter to win Julie's 
January, 2014 release,
The Dancing Master

Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.

Julie's new release has such an inviting title. Go ahead, take a peek at the book cover below. I asked Julie to share how God has led her on her journey. Here is her story:

Books & Dreams

For the last few years, I’ve had the following verse propped up near my laptop:        

“For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
--Ephesians 2:10

I have always loved books, and wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. In fact, my Mom, who was my biggest fan while she was alive, kept a second grade report card that said something along the lines of “Julie’s stories and poems show great potential.” So I really do believe God wired me to be a writer, or at least creative with words in some way, from the get-go. 

Julie Klassen with her
editor Karen Schurrer (and her husband, Jeff)
I spent many hours lost in make-believe as a girl, and in writing stories, poems, and skits for my cousins to perform on Thanksgiving. I took every writing class I could in high school and college. Though a wise counselor advised me to pursue a degree that would lead to a “real job,” so I graduated with a degree in advertising and worked in that field for several years. I also managed to procrastinate getting serious about writing during those years. Starting things, but never finishing them.

I landed nearer to my dream job when I landed an advertising job for a Christian publisher. I was like a kid in a candy store with all those books to read! And later, because I had volunteered to do any project that came along (reviewing manuscripts, abridging audio books), Bethany House offered me a job in editorial, which I could do primarily from home. What a blessing that was to me and my family, especially when my boys were young.

When I look back, I see how God graciously lead me to that position. I learned so much from working with other editors and talented authors – things that taught me not only about writing but about how to go about crafting a full-length novel, which is a lot more work than I ever imagined! I am thankful for my years with Bethany House Publishers. But, I am also thankful that I was able to hang up my editorial “red pen” a few years ago to focus on my writing.

Being a novelist has drawn me closer to God—made me realize how much I want and need His wisdom and leading in my life and in my writing. I don’t consider myself as having “arrived” in either my writing journey or my walk with Christ. I am still involved in Bible study and I still take writing classes—there is always more to learn! 

Even so, I love knowing I am doing what God wired me to do and for His glory.

What has God wired you to do? Maybe it’s writing books like me, or maybe it’s something completely different like creating a beautiful home, or being a singer, or a teacher, or helping the sick. But never doubt this: He has created you for a purpose.

Whatever your dream, I want to encourage you to begin taking small steps in that direction if you haven’t already. You will be amazed at what God can do in your life. I know I am.

~ ~

Julie Klassen in lovely Austen gown
JULIE KLASSEN loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in Christian publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She also won the Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction and been a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Please visit her websites at:

~ ~

The Dancing Master

Dancing master Alec Valcourt is forced to leave his London academy and move his mother and sister to remote Devonshire. He hopes to start again, but when he arrives, he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing for reasons buried deep in her past. Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch’s daughter, and the two join forces to uncover old secrets, and restore life to the village.

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of 
Julie Klassen's book: "The Dancing Master":
leave a comment (and email addy)
AND become a follower of this site, 
if you aren't already.

Sorry  US  only

Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Julie, for Joining us This Weekend!

What has God wired you to do?


Patty said...

Hi Mary!

I have read and enjoyed all of Julie's books. Quite recently actually I read The Tutor's Daughter, and while it wasn't my favorite of hers, I enjoyed it none the less. I would love to win a copy of The Dancing Master...

I follow via GFC


Lis K said...

I have read all of Julie Klassen's books, I love Regency fiction! (and I'm also a Univ. of Illinois graduate!). I like that picture of Ms. Klassen in an Austen gown. Thanks for the giveaway!
I follow your site via email.
Lis K
garfsgirl [at] hotmail [dot] com

Connie Porter Saunders said...

I have always loved reading and I was one of those kids that read the back of the cereal box and everything else! I was a "farm wife" and mother for many years but God lead me to a career as a librarian when I had just turned 40! One day a week turned into a full-time position. I was able to share my knowledge of good reading material with both young and old and also given the chance to purchase material for our library. One of my greatest joys has been seeing the popularity of "Christian fiction" simply explode over the past few years. I am so thankful that God let me experience all of this by leading me to apply for that job almost 23 years ago.

Thanks to both of you for writing and promoting reading material that we Christians are proud to read!

Amy C said...

God has lead me to be a stay at home mom. I have several degrees and had a good job but didn't wasn't satisfied until the children came.
Thanks for the giveaway. I look forward to Julie's newest.
Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hey Patty,
Nice to see you again.
So, you've read all of Julie's books. Awesome. Which one was your favorite so far? I'm thinking this new one is going to be the new favorite for her readers.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I loved the pic of her in the Austen gown as well. Julie said to me, "Choose which pics you want." Seriously? No way could I choose. I put them all on this post and definitely wouldn't have left out the one with her in the Austen gown.
I am so happy you stopped by to join us today and look forward to seeing you again.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Really, Connie….you get to be a librarian? That's like working in a candy story for a book lover. A librarian's job is one of those employment opportunities many people would wake up and say, "Yeah, I get to work at the library today!"
I must admit, I've noticed my local library's Christian Fiction section has grown over the past few years as well.
I always love chatting with you, Connie and look forward to your next visit.

Mary Vee Writer said...

A stay at home mom is one of the great honorable jobs. You, my friend, have many opportunities to see, enjoy, influence, guide, etc your little ones. While there may be many times when the crazy in the house doesn't seem like it, you are doing a noble work. :)

Pam K. said...

Most of the jobs I've had involved working with children, mostly teaching preschoolers. However, for the last seven years I've worked in an elementary school as a special ed para. A couple of years ago I realized it was not just a job, it was a calling. I learn a lot from my students, including patience.
I've read Julie's book, The Tutor's Daughter, which I enjoyed very much. I have several of her other books waiting for me on my Kindle. I'd love to win a copy of The Dancing Master.
I follow your blog via e-mail.


Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Pam K!
Working with two-year-olds is such a treat. I don't know which tickles me more, their curiosity, their discovery, or their energy. What a wonderful time you must have had with them. Now you have the joy of working in the special ed program. Truly God has called you to work with a treasured group of people.

Blessings on you, Pam.
Looking forward to seeing you next time:)

Anonymous said...

Hello Mary. Thanks for the review of Julie's new book. I guess I was called to be a stay at home mom, a good wife, mother, daughter, sister, Grandmother, and Great-grandmother. And, a good friend. I feel like I have done that. I never really knew of a special calling of anything else. I helped in Vacation Bible School when a teenager. Sang in our church Choir. But my voice isn't as it used to be, sometimes getting hoarse during a song. tho I still do my share of singing. Just not in the choir. I have visited the shut-ins for our church, and helped my best friend when she needed me. I did think of starting to visit people in Nursing Homes who had no company. But never did. Don't know if that was just my idea, or GOD putting it in my thoughts. I am a follower of your blog Mary. I would love to win Julie's new book. Thanks, Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Mary Vee Writer said...

So nice to see you this morning. You have a wonderful list of activities you've done. So many noble and needed things. Knowing that being a good friend, and a good wife, mother, daughter, sister, etc, shows your close walk with God. So many times we are worn down by thoughts that pop in our head, causing us to doubt how others feel about us. These thoughts lead us to edge away which is precisely not what the other person needs.

I'm so glad you shared your thoughts today.
Blessings on you, Maxie.

Julie Klassen said...

Thanks for reading my books, Patty!

Julie Klassen said...

Thanks, Lis. Always fun to "meet" another U of I grad!

Julie Klassen said...

I love libraries and librarians, Connie! (Though I've learned you never play trivia pursuit with a librarian--she always wins :))

Julie Klassen said...

I agree. Hats off to stay-at-home Moms. Hope you enjoy the book, Amy!

Julie Klassen said...

I'm so thankful God has wired people who love teaching and working with children, Pam. Not my gift, but sure glad for people like you who have ministered to my sons over the years.

Julie Klassen said...

I agree, Mary. Sounds like Maxie has served in so many ways. God bless you!

Rebekah Hart said...

Thank you so much for the giveaway! I've read 'The Maid of Fairbourne Hall' and 'The Girl in the Gatehouse' and I loved them both to death. I cannot wait to read this next one!

Rebekah said...

Sorry, my email is bekaboobear(at)gmail(dot)com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Ooooo Rebekah, this is a strong recommendation "loved them both to death." I am extra glad you stopped by to share this and so happy to have chatted with you today. Looking forward to seeing you again.

Bonnie Roof said...

Hi, Mary and Julie!

I really enjoyed your interview, Julie, and learning more about how God orchestrated your writing journey. I caught the last 20 minutes of your live chat earlier this week, and would love to go back and listen to the rest when I get a chance. I haven't read any of your books, and would love to read "The Dancing Master" - it sounds like a wonderfully interesting book with a, somewhat, different story line.

I am retired, and often worked numerous jobs at the same time - while raising my children - so have worked in quite a few different positions during my working career. I also enrolled in college while in my early 50's, and took night classes for several years - while working an office job during the day. Some of my most enjoyable, and most rewarding, positions were a houseparent in a children's home, and a night-shift manager at a women/children's shelter. My favorite, hands down, was as a cast member of a on-going Passion Play - on the life of Christ. Mobility problems prevent me from doing some of the things I'd like, but, I have been enjoying encouraging Christian fiction writers/authors online, and by mail, for a number of months now - and feel that is what God is leading me to do at this point in my life.

Blessings to you, Julie - and thanks for using your talent for the glory of God!


I am a follower.

Mary Vee Writer said...

So nice to see you today! I'm so glad you came. You have led such an exciting life and it seems you have a lot more fun in store. I hope God grants you the mobility to carry on with some of those things you listed, perhaps the play?
Seems like this is a good chance for you to become acquainted with Julie's works. She is a wonderful author and I am sure you will enjoy her book.
Looking forward to seeing you again.

squiresj said...

I am already a follower of this site. I love this author. I would love to read her book and review it if I win. jrs362 at Hotmail dot com