16 February 2012

Valentine Week Giveaways Continue - Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen



Maid of Fairbourne Hall 
by Julie Klassen
(Bethany House, 2012)
~5 stars *****


Reviewed by Diana L. Flowers


Appearances Can Be Deceiving!

In Maid of Fairbourne Hall, Julie Klassen sweeps us away to 19th century London, in a delightful tale reminiscent of the timeless classics of the beloved Jane Austen. It is a tale of the very wealthy, and their loyal servants, beautiful gowns and masquerade balls, deceit and unrequited love. Our heroine, self-centered Margaret Macy, who stands to inherit a fortune on her next birthday, is forced to leave her home by her money hungry stepfather and his conniving nephew. Not knowing exactly where she is going, Margaret finds herself hired as a servant at Fairbourne Hall, owned by none other than two of her past suitors...Nathaniel Upchurch and his brother, Lewis! 

Desperate not to be discovered, the beautiful, blonde Margaret, dons a brunette wig from one of her masquerade balls, and becomes a servant in every sense of the word...even lowering herself to emptying the disgusting chamber pots. Infatuated at one time with Lewis Upchurch, Margaret turned down his brother, Nathaniel's marriage proposal...much to her chagrine, for Nathaniel has turned into one swoonworthy male, and she finds Lewis to be very shallow and selfish.  

Will Margaret be able to keep up the charade without being discovered, and what valuable lessons does she learn as a housemaid...of sacrifice, forgiveness, and loving those who are beneath her station in life? And who has a vendetta against the Upchurch family and why?...and seriously wounds one of the Upchurch brothers? Will he live?---especially with a traitor in the mansion determined to make that an impossibility? Will Nathaniel forgive Margaret's rejection of him years earlier, should he discover her identity, and will she ever be able return home to her mother and siblings again?

I love Julie Klassen's books, but in my opinion this is the best novel she has ever written! Interlaced with humor, suspense, and romance, this novel will have you laughing one moment and eyes brimming with tears the next. I loved her characters (though somewhat fanciful at times), and how our heroine evolves from being a selfish lady to a real LADY in every sense of the word! Julie's use of imagery is extraordinary, her storyline fascinating, her writing exquisite; what more can I say than you must read this book?!!


The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen can be purchased at CBD, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers.



GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of this author’s books, choice of format.

107 comments:

  1. Ah, not only one of my favorite authors, but one of my favorite people as well -- LOVE Julie's work and can't wait to get my mitts on this one!

    Excellent review, Diana!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  2. Thank you, Julie Lessman! This one has a little bit of everything...humor, suspense, unrequited love, deceit; just the perfect book!

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  3. I am LOVING this book so far!!! Hoping to have my own review up tomorrow. Kim D. Taylor told me I had to read it NOW and she told our other CPer that, too! Glad I listened to Kim - I had been waiting for the audio download.

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  4. Isn't it a great book?...and it gets better and better the further one gets into the plot!

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  5. Thanks for the awesome review, Diana. I'm looking forward to reading Kim's as well. And glad to hear you're enjoying the book, Carrie. And JULIE LESSMAN! Always wonderful to hear from you.

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  6. Julie, this was just such a delightful book, how can a reader not write a review on it and tell everybody?! There wasn't anything about it I didn't love, and Carrie can vouch for this...at times I can be very picky! So you are very welcome and thank you for writing such wonderful books that take us away from it all! And that applies to all of the authors we are having on this week as well!

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  7. This one looks so good!! Thank for the awesome review and the giveaway. I'm looking forward to reading this one.

    sheri.salatin(at)gmail.com

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  8. Diana - Thanks for the review. I love Julie's books. Couldn't pick my favorite and now I am excited to read "Maid of Fairbourne Hall". Don't enter me in the give away, I already have the book in my TBR pile.

    Julie - Can't read to read this story. At least half of South Sub Book Club has already purchased the book! Thanks for visiting us last summer. You have a new following of fans in Apple Valley.

    Sharon Moore

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  9. I've been looking forward to reading this book; glad to see it get a great review.

    Micah Hayden
    micahshank@yahoo.com

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  10. Sheri, thank you for coming by. I hope you get a chance to read this one soon! Perhaps a win here?! :)

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  11. Sharon, since it is in your TBR stack, read it next!!! LOL I think this one will be your new favorite, honestly!...though, I know it's hard to pick one.

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  12. Micah, this book is wonderful! You simply must read it. Thank you for joining our party!

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  13. good review. would love to win.
    Shirley
    beekeeper(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  14. I have not read any books by Julie, but am very anxious to ....please enter me. Sounds like my kind of book! Thanks!!
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

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  15. Love all of Julie K's books, but I agree this is one of the best. I've read it, but would certainly have no trouble finding someone to pass it on to!

    Patty

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  16. Hi Sharon,
    So nice to see you here! I was just looking at the photos from my visit with your book club--say "hello" to eveyone for me!

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  17. Thanks, Patty. Glad to hear you agree with Diana's review! Hope Sheri, Micah, Jackie, and Shirley have a chancae to read the book soon, too. Thanks for offering the giveaway, Carrie & Diana!

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  18. beemama, I would love for you to win, but if not, put this one at the top of your wishlist for sure!

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  19. Jackie, you have been missing out! We have got to get a copy of one of Julie's books in your hands!! Praying for a win for you!

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  20. Great review Diana! I'm soo looking forward to reading this book. It's sitting on my bookshelf and is smiling at me everytime I pass. ;) I hope to pick it up soon. :)

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  21. Please enter me! "A new favorite" that's high praise. :)

    rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

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  22. This was a fantastic book, as all of Julie Klassen's books have been! I randomly pulled her first, Lady of Milkweed Manor, off my library shelf and have been eagerly anticipating each release since! Thanks for great reads!
    Jennifer Hutchison
    Jlmcmillan1@juno.com

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  23. Patty, what a selfless thought! I'm sure one of your friends will appreciate that! Is there any of J. Klassen's books you haven't read?...b/c the giveaway is your choice of ANY of her great books!

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  24. Marian, it's smiling at you saying, "Pick me up and hold me!" lol

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  25. Hi, Melissa. Yes, this book will definitely go on my fave book list of 2012 in December! You gotta read it, gf!

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  26. Jennifer, thank you for you encouraging and uplifting comments concerning Julie's books! I know she will be pleased.

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  27. I love Julie's books and would love to win a copy!

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  28. Thank you for coming by, Kris! Gotcha entered! OOPS--come back Kris and leave an email. For without a last name or an email we won't be able to find you should you win. :(

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  29. Diana, I agree with your review. I really enjoyed her latest book as well as her other ones. I eagerly await Julie's books. Such a talented author.

    -Janella

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  30. Hi, Janella! Thank you for coming over and I quite agree!

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  31. Your review was dead on! I've enjoyed all of Julie Klassen's novels, but this one is my definite favorite thus far! Would love a chance to win my own copy. :-)

    cdegr002@gmail.com

    Carrie D.

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  32. Diana another lovely review...I'll have to take lessons from you. :)
    Can't wait to get started on this one.

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  33. Thank you, Carrie D.! I am pulling for you to win a copy for your own!

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  34. PFFT!! Teresa, your reviews are fabulous, gf! As a matter of fact, there is not a whole awful lot you can't do! Some people's talent area of their brain is larger than other peeps...yours must cover about all of your brain! lol

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  35. Or should I have said "creative area"? Kinda one and the same...

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  36. Julie is a favorite at my house. Would love to read this one.
    Shirley
    beekeeper5(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  37. This was such an amazing book! I loved every minute of it. I have a review of posted on my blog and it was in my top books of 201l!

    I agree with the reviewer in that it is Julie's best book yet! Its a book that everyone should read!!!!!!

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  38. I totally skipped reading the review :) I am about 1/3 of my into the book and I don't want ANY heads up about ANYthing ;) When I'm finished I'll go back and read your review bcuz I know it is awesome!!!

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  39. So good to see Julie spotlighted here:) I just love this cover and think the review by Diana is wonderful. I met Julie in St. Louis last fall and she's so thoughtful and kind. Bless you all for making Valentine's week such a fun, memorable one!

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  40. OOPS-Jen! I was thinking oh oh, I can't put this one on my list of 2012 faves, but it was released Jan. 2012. You must have got an ARC. Come to think of it I must have, too. Or did I? Oh, brother. Y'all excuse me while I have one of my blonde moments here! Thanks, Jen, for your thoughtful comments!

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  41. Shirley, I have your name in my little contest hat here! ;) Thanks for coming by!

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  42. Anne, isn't the book just wonderful?

    Diana, I happened to get a copy from the Author, it was not an ARC and I got in the mail just after Christmas and read it in like 2 days so I technically did read it in 2011! :)

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  43. Anne, I try to expound on the blurb enough to pique the would be reader's interest, and not give away any spoilers. But, I do know what you are saying...you just don't want to hear about anything that might be coming up next while you are reading it. lol Let us know what you think of the book, ok?

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  44. Thank you, Laura, and you have totally added to all of the gaiety this week! You are so much fun!

    I love the Jane Austen "feel" of this book, and I feel it could really become a classic! I have heard others say the same thing about Julie, you are not the first, Laura. I think all the authors who come on our blog are sweet and kind. Aren't we of all women most blessed, Carrie, and Teresa?

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  45. Diana you have me rolling...you KNOW most days I don't even remember my name. LOL! But thank you...you are a true friend and you made my day. :)

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  46. This book sounds great, and I'd love to win a copy. Thanks for the opportunity!

    gwen[dot]gage[at]gmail[dot]com

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  47. Well, I was talking talent part of the brain...not the memory dept! LOL

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  48. OOPs that comment was for Teresa, Gwendolyn, not you! Thank you for coming by and here's hoping for a win for you! You will love this book, I'm certain!

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  49. I can't wait to read this one! I love Julie's books. Please enter me. Thanks

    sunshine6892 at hotmail dot com

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  50. Thanks for coming by Cathy, I know what you mean, it's on my TRB stack too. Consider yourself entered! :)

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  51. Julie Klassen is one of my favorite authors! I just finished reading this book and loved it. I felt like I could have taken her place or better yet worked along side Nora:) I am trained as a CNA, so I understand the chamber pot thing!

    Jennie
    hisprincess117[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  52. LOL, Jennie! That part was kinda humorous if I didn't think too much about the visual aspect of it! Thanks for stopping by!

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  53. I've heard such great things about this book. I'd love a chance to win! :)

    sarah at sarahforgrave dot com

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  54. HERE is the thing, though SARAH, once you have read it you are let down because it is so good you hate for it to end!!!

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  55. Hi, Sarah! I just got back from your blog a few minutes ago. It's great to see you here. Carrie's right, I couldn't wait to see how the book was going to end and then felt bad b/c I didn't have it to read anymore. :( Go figure...

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  56. Carrie, are you done with it already?

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  57. I've read a couple of julie's books and loved them so would love to win this one! Please enter me:) Just a quick question, I live in Scotland but if I won could I get a Paperback sent to my moms house in Texas (she could then send it on to me)? Thanks!

    estephen81@fsmail.net

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  58. Thank you, Eva, and I'm sure if your mom doesn't mind doing that, it certainly doesn't seem like it would be a problem on this end. Of course, I would have to double check with Carrie. Wow, just think, Julie, your book perhaps in Scotland and Marian has a copy in Holland...how exciting!

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  59. Thank you Diana for getting back to me so quickly. My mom doesn't mind as she sends me Texas goodies that you can't get over here lol. A girl can't live without Ranch dressing! heehee.

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  60. Eva, I know this girl can't! LOL Are you missionaries in Scotland or is hubby's job there? That's a long way from your mama!

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  61. My hubby is Scottish and we met at YWAM here in Scotland. God made it clear we were supposed to be married and that was that! I've always felt called to Scotland so it wasn't a surprise that God would give me a Scottish husband, heehee. We both have a heart for evangelism here in Scotland and would love to see as many Scottish people come to the Lord as possible. I've lived here for almost 10years! Can't believe it's been that long but then I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. I love this land! :)

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  62. Awesome review, Diana :) I'm hoping that this one will show up in my mailbox very soon. Can't wait to read it.

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  63. Eva, I love Scottish books, such as Liz Curtis Higgs, Kathleen Morgan, etc., and have two downloaded to my Kindle by Jennifer H. Taylor that I'm chomping at the bit to get to, that are set in Scotland. May God bless you with a fine harvest of souls in Scotland!

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  64. Thank you, Faye. I know you will love this one; my favorite of Julie's for sure, although they are all good! Bless you!

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  65. Thank you for the great Review, I would love to be in your Contest to win this Book.
    Blessings to all

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  66. This is the only one of Julie's books I don't have, so I'd love to be put in the drawing. Thanks, ladies!

    Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's day. I'm trying to ignore the leftover cookies!

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  67. Ingrid, you're welcome and thank you so much for visiting us here at OTT. You are officially entered!

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  68. Debra, HEY! It's been awhile! You need to read my fb post then, on deleting cookies...it's too cute! You are in for a delicious, inedible treat with this book...Julie's best to date in my opinion. Good luck to you!

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  69. Diana, the book has a 2011 copyright (came out in December) so feel free to put it on your favorites list! :) Love it. What great comments everyone is leaving. A fun place to be for me today!

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  70. Hi LAURA FRANTZ! I very much enjoyed meeting you last fall as well. Hearing so many great things about your books--congrats! And yes, the covers are beautiful and I take no credit. Designer (and friend!) Jennifer Parker does a wonderful job.

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  71. Oh, Eva. I'd love to visit Scotland someday. Can I come visit you? (wink) So glad you're enjoying living there.

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  72. JULIE, on Amazon it shows the book released in January 2012. Which is what we usually use. Is it considered a 2011 RELEASE? Thanks!

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  73. Oh that looks like a fascinating read. I've not read anything by this author, but I think I will start! Would love to win a copy!

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  74. Diana's Internet went poof !!! Gone, bye bye, not working.

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  75. Oooh! I'd have to read this book now! Thanks for the giveaway.

    ecriggs1990(at)aol(dot)com

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  76. I love your books, Julie. Please enter me in the contest.

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  77. "The Maid of Fairbourne Hall" sounds like a delightful book, one that I would very much enjoy reading. It would also be quite fun to win a copy! Thanks for the opportunity.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  78. LORI and PAM yes, Julie's books are AWESOME. You will both be entered in the drawing!

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  79. You have had two great authors featured today and yesterday and both happened to be named Julie....that name most mean amazing and gifted writer...lol

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  80. Internet working...yay! Jen, I believe I heard Julie Lessman say that people get them confused sometimes. Both have the first name of Julie and their last names have two "ss" in the middle and an "n" at the end. I wouldn't mind people getting me mixed up with one of those marvelous ladies!

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  81. Oh, Ella, you have really missed out, sweetie! We have to pray you get one of Julie's awesome books in your hands!

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  82. Julie, you can count on it being on my 2012 list of faves...oh, yeah!

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  83. JEN, We did think it would be fun to have the two Julies up this week because we LOVE them both and because they are Julies plus people sometimes mix them up because Lessman and Klassen sound a lot alike! Very different gals, though with different personalities. I LOVE different, too!

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  84. Just want to say you do a great job with your blog. So inspiring, and the giveaways are great. Thanks for all the hard work.

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  85. Marianne, thank you so much. That is certainly music to our ears! Carrie and I have prayed that this blog would be used by and for God, and I'm thrilled you find it an inspiration and hope others do as well.

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  86. Julie, I had such a wonderful time with you on the blog. Thank you for your wonderful comments and awesome books. May God bless all the work of your hands!

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  87. Have been looking forward to reading this book for a long time! Thanks for the chance to win. Happy Heart Week!

    jprivette1(at)roadrunner(dot)com

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  88. Same to you, Mary! I so hope you win it here, but if not do something nice just for you for Valentine's Day and order it! Like the commercial for Loreal says, "Because you're worth it!"

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  89. I'm a big fan of Julie's. I already have my copy of Maid of Fairbourne Hall and I'm looking forward to reading it. It looks to be another wonderful story!

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  90. Hi, Lisa! Even though it's a thick book, it shouldn't take you long to finish it...it's an I can't put downer, if you know what I mean! :)

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  91. JENNIFER HUTCHINSON is the winner of Julie Klassen's latest release. I used random.org for the drawing. Check your email, Jennifer, and CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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  92. Congrats, Jennifer! What a blessing you will be receiving! Enjoy!

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  93. SO is the giveaway over?
    I thought it was going until the 18th?

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  94. Yea for Jennifer! I know you will love Julie's book!

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  95. LEAH, we are doing giveaways every day. Come by today's post and leave a comment! Blessings!

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  96. Ok, Diana! I love, Love, LOVE your review!!! I'm stealing it ;) Just kidding!

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  97. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are such a mess, Anne! LOL! Hey, if you want to steal some really good ones go to newer posts. Sheesh, I can see why Carrie and Kim are writers and I'm not!

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  98. Folks, don't forget Julie's fb party on Mar 15th! She will be talking about her new book The Tutor's Daughter!!

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  99. Can't wait to read Julie's new book!

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

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  100. I am on the Joyce Hart authors group too - I just wanted to leave a comment and say thank you for all you do to bring quality Christian fiction to readers that want more inspiration in their lives. Blessings to you!

    Kristy <><

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  101. Thank you, Kristy. That is our goal and we strive hard to achieve it...just any book or author won't do. This blog is dedicated to God and I pray that comes through to our followers.

    Speaking of followers---congrats to you, Kristy! You became our 150th follower and have won a copy of LA Eakes awesome new release, Heart's Safe Passage, but I need your email addy.

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  102. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  103. KRISTY, thanks! And good to meet another Hartline author! Blessings!

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  104. Kristy, did you change your email addy? All of my emails to you have been returned, even the one on your blog. So please let me know how I can get in touch with you so you can get your book asap. Thanks!

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  105. This novel was one of the highlights of my past week. It was the perfect escape. The perfect story with the perfect amount of romance and intrigue. Thank you, Julie! I needed this one.

    Klassen creates a story with real characters, vivid historical detail and unique twists and turns. Margaret is a character that truly develops and changes by the end of the book. The royalty falls to the level of a servant and sees the world in a different light.

    After page one, I was swept up into the tale and it held my interest to the very last page. The tension and threat of her secret being revealed made for a delicious backdrop. The hero, Nathaniel, is a character you can't help but love. Gallant but stubborn--flawed but so real--he brings out the best and worst of Margaret and complements her in all the right ways. The makings of a memorable, genuine story.

    Pirates, poetry, masquerade balls, duels and chamber pots. What's not to love about this book? Whether or not you're a big Regency fan, this story will delight and hold you captive.

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