Tuesday, March 21, 2023

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson


What is your favorite color for a book cover?  I really love greys in the cover of this book and it matches my cat Bob so well!

I have been meaning to read The Kind Worth Killing for years and was glad to get to it this month as I got ready to read the new Peter Swanson book, The Kind Worth Saving.  I read his novel Eight Perfect Murders in the past and really enjoyed it.

Ted Severson is flying back to the United States from London when he meets the beautiful Lily Kintner on the plane.  He finds himself opening up to her about his problems.  His wife, Miranda, is cheating on him with the contractor that is building their new home.  Ted says he would like to kill his wife, and Lily agrees that she would like to help. Will they go through with it?

This starts the wild and crazy ride this book is.  I did not guess the ending of this book and was completely surprised by it so I don’t want to ruin it for others.  The first part of the book alternates chapters in the present with Ted and in the past with Lily to lead up to current events.  The second part of the book brings in different narrators to complete the story.  The Kind Worth Killing was a great suspense thriller that kept me up too late at night reading as I wanted to see what would happen next.  The twists were great.  I felt like just when I would think I knew where the story was heading a new twist would come in and change the direction of the story.  The twists all made sense in the story.  I loved it!

The Kind Worth Killing reminded me of the classic Hitchcock movie Strangers on a Train (I still need to read the classic Patricia Highsmith novel).  I love Hitchcock movies and would so love to see this book made into a movie.

I really want to talk about the ending of this book with someone.  It was open ended and has definitely kept me thinking about it.

Favorite Quote:

”Truthfully, I don’t think murder is necessarily as bad as people make it out to be. Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended? And your wife, for example, seems like the kind worth killing.”

Book Source:  Purchased from Amazon.com

Monday, March 20, 2023

The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson


Title:  The House of Eve

Author:  Sadeqa Johnson

Narrated by:  Ariel Blake and Nicole Lewis

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Length: Approximately 10 hours and 27 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Schuster Audio.  Thank you @simonandschuster #BookClubFavorites for the free books!

Do you like book covers that show faces?  I love this book cover, but it goes with the trend of having a headless person.  The other trend I notice is the back of someone walking away.  I think it's so you can imagine yourself as the character.  I like covers that show faces and also those that don’t.  I love the color of the dress on this cover.

The House of Eve is a riveting new historical fiction novel that I couldn’t put down.  I was listening to it on audiobook and I had a hard time stopping the story to do things like work, eat, or talk to my family.  The House of Eve is set in 1948 and is the story of two very women. Ruby is a fifteen year old in Philadelphia.  She is working on getting good grades and a scholarship to be the first person in her family to go to college.  It’s hard work as her single mother doesn’t care to raise her and cares more about her boyfriend of the month.  When Ruby meets Shimmy, sparks fly and she will make a decision that could potentially impact her life forever.

Eleanor is attending Howard University in Washington DC and is the pride her family from Ohio.  She has the dream of becoming an archivist at a library.  When she meets the handsome William Pride, she is instantly smitten.  William is from an elite and rich family in Washington DC.  Eleanor feels that William’s mother Rose will never accept her. Will having a baby bring her into the family more?

I really enjoyed the two different alternating narratives.  Ruby grew up in poverty with a single mother, while Eleanor had a more middle class upbringing with two parents.  They both have ambitions, and they both have to work hard for what they want.  I don’t want to ruin the story for others, but I loved the realistic challenges that the two women faced including pregnancy, racism, social pressures, body image issues, etc.

I also loved learning about the social scene of elite African Americans in Washington DC in the late 1940s.  It was new to me and so interesting.  There was also a section of the book that was disturbing showing what happened to unwed mothers who were sent to religious homes for unwed mothers.  I can’t stop thinking about this and how these mothers were treated.

Author Sadeqa Johnson previously wrote another historical fiction novel that I thought was excellent, Yellow Wife.  I LOVED that there was a connection to Yellow Wife at the end of The House of Eve.  It made me want to clap.  It was perfect.  I also read that this was a personal story for Johnson as her grandmother found herself a 14-year old unwed mother.

Ariel Blake and Nicole Lewis were great and engaging narrators.  The story was told through both Ruby and Eleanor’s point of view.  Each narrator told the story of each character and it made it so it seemed like their own personal story.  I enjoyed it.


Sunday, March 19, 2023

What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottoline


If you and your family disappeared one day – would you be missed?  Would anyone in your neighborhood ask what happened to you?  I feel like living in a small town that I would be missed at some point. 

Jason Bennett is a Dad with a court-reporting business driving home one evening from his daughter’s lacrosse game.  When his family is carjacked, a tragedy occurs and their lives are changed forever.  The Bennetts are put into the Witness Protection Program and they are gone from their regular lives.  It leaves the neighbors wondering, what happened to the Bennetts?   After Jason decides to take matters into his own hands, he will discover that nothing is as it seems.

This was a very fast paced suspense novel that kept me on my toes.  I did not guess at all what was going to happen.  It didn’t allow for much character development, although I found myself caring about characters such as Jason’s poor son that was struggling. 

What Happened to the Bennetts was the March pick for the Kewaunee Public Library.  We had a great discussion about this book complete with great questions from the reading guide. 

Book Source:  Kewaunee Public Library.  Thank-you!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

A Death in Door County by Annelise Ryan


Do you have any locally set books that you like to read or shows you like to watch?  Have you ever visited Door County, Wisconsin?

Morgan Carter owns a unique shop called Odds and Ends in Door County Wisconsin.  The shop has mystery books and other strange supernatural items for sale.  Carter is also a cryptozoologist.  She has degrees in zoology and biology and is basically a mythical monster hunter.  She is enlisted by the Washington Island police chief, Jon Flanders, for help.  Two people have recently mysteriously drowned.  Even more mysterious, they were found with giant bite marks on them.  What caused these bite marks?  Will Morgan be able to solve the crime before becoming the next victim?

A Death in Door County is the first book in a new planned Monster Hunter Mystery series.  This is a fun cozy mystery novel.  I loved the setting.  I live in the county south of Door County, Wisconsin.  It was fun to read about the local setting.  The characters were fun as well.  I loved learning more of their backstories throughout the novel. I think my favorite character was Newt the rescue dog.  I loved how he and Morgan went on their swims in the bay. The story kept moving for me and was interesting.  The action picked up at the end of the novel.   I will admit that it reminded me of a Scooby Do mystery at the end.  If you are looking for a cozy mystery where justice is served, this is the novel for you.

A Death in Door County by Annelise Ryan was the March Selection for the Rogue (AKA Flicks Book Club).   It was interesting to discuss.

Purchased at The Peninsula Bookman – a wonderful bookstore in Door County, Wisconsin.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The Book Spy by Alan Hlad


What is your favorite novel or movie that has a female spy?

The Book Spy is an intriguing new WWII historical fiction novel.    Maria Alves is a microfilm expert at the New York Public Library.  One of her colleagues becomes a part of a new government program that is sending librarians that are microfilm experts to Europe as part of a new branch of the Office of Strategic Service.  In Europe, the librarians will work as espionage agents to look through newspapers, magazines, and books that could contain any information that will help with the Allied cause.  Maria uses her wit to be recruited and she is sent to Lisbon, Portugal.  While there she meets Tiago Soares.  He runs a bookstore, but is also helping Jewish refugees escape Europe with counterfeit passports and visas.  As the war progresses, both of their futures are thrown into question as Maria becomes a double agent.  Will they be able to help push the allies to their final victory, and will they survive?

I adored this novel.  It had a bit of everything – romance, intrigue, suspense.  I love learning something new in a historical fiction novel and I felt like I learned so much in The Book Spy.  I had no idea that this program existed in WWII and it was fascinating to learn about. I’ve also never read a WWII novel set in Portugal and I learned a lot about what was going on in that part of the world during the war.  Over one million refuges escaped through the port of Lisbon.  I also learned about the tragic crashing of the Yankee Clipper through Maria experiencing it in this novel. It was a heartbreaking accident. Maria and Tiago were both very brave characters and I enjoyed reading about them.  The side characters were interesting as well.

The Book Spy was the Brenda Novak Book Group February selection.  I was a bit behind on reading it, but I enjoyed listening to Brenda Novak interview author Alan Hlad at her monthly book club on Facebook. Alan Hlad stated that he likes character driven novels with characters that you root for.  He succeeded with that in the The Book Spy.

The Book Spy ended with a great author’s note that detailed all of the real history and historical characters in the novel.  It was fascinating.  It also had great questions to use if you read this with a book club.

Review Copy from Netgalley.   Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Monday, March 13, 2023

To Win Her Hand by Jen Geigle Johnson (Austenprose PR Book Tour)


What are your thoughts on Daylight Savings Time?  Yay or nay? 

I feel like I lost an hour of reading time this weekend!  I wish we just stuck with one time all year round with no time changes.

I did read To Win Her Hand by Jen Geigle Johnson very quickly.  It was a gentle and enjoyable story.  Lady Loveluck appears to be a wealthy widow, but she has a secret.  Her late husband gambled away their fortune and she can hardly make ends meet.  In order to eat and keep the roof over her head, she has turned to being a paid matchmaker.  Lord Featherstone also is keeping his finances straight by being a matchmaker for gentleman.  As the two meet over their clients, will they discover that they may be the most perfect match of all?  Will Lady Loveluck be able to trust a man again after her disastrous first marriage?

I loved the characters.  Lord Featherstone was a worthy gentleman and Lady Loveluck was a wonderful woman.  I also loved their clients.  The setting was also fantastic.  It was mostly set at a Regency house party.  The dialogue was witty and the ending was one that you want to celebrate.

This was the first novel in the new Gentleman’s Match series.  It looks like Lord Featherstone’s brother is next which I am eager to read.

This novel was a clean read.

Review Copy from author Jen Geigle Johnson.   Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the Austenprose PR Book Tour. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


·       Title: To Win Her Hand

·       Series: A Gentleman’s Match (Book 1)

·       Author: Jen Geigle Johnson

·       Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction

·       Publisher: King’s Row Press (December 15, 2022)

·       Length: (272) pages

·       Format: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, & eBook 

·       ISBN: 978-1737592174

·       Tour Dates: February 27 – March 13, 2023



An expert at winning a woman's hand. A woman who cannot be won.

Lord Featherstone has the world on his shoulders. Or at least his world. With two brothers and a failing estate he must make funds somehow. But what happens when he falls for a woman? Will his tactics work when the situation is so close and personal?

Everyone thinks Lady Loveluck is a wealthy widow. What they don't know is that she is on the brink of hiring herself out as a Governess in order to pay for her next meal. The only thing keeping her from employment is a growing reputation as a matchmaker. As long as she never falls for another man, as long as she doesn't allow herself to be fooled into marrying, she will be just fine.

But she never counted on being caught up in the beguiling tactics of London's renowned and not so secret matchmaker for men.



  • "I loved the character growth, watching them learn more about the other’s heart and hardships, and the realization that perhaps they had more choices than they first thought. Such a sweet regency. I’m so grateful I had the chance to read this one."— Makayla Branson, Reading Past Bedtime
  • “The house party, the quiet moments, the collection of other characters, and much more all combined together made this is delightful read.”— Julie Carpenter, Goodreads
  • “Two matchmakers with a wager. What fun for all! [A] heart touching story.”— Shauna Jones, Goodreads






Jen Geigle Johnson is an award-winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards and LDSPMA Praiseworthy's top award for Romance,

Jen has more stories circulating in her brain than can possibly be told. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. History is her main jam. Her literary heroes include the greats: Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. But she has modern sensibilities as well.

Six children and an inspiring husband keep her going and make certain she doesn't stay glued to a keyboard or lost in obscure fascinating details of old castles.

Now, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure.


Sunday, March 12, 2023

To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters


Title:  To Love and to Loathe

Author:  Martha Water

Narrated by:  Joel Froomkin, Anais Inara Chase

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Length: Approximately 10 hours and 10 minutes

Source: Checked out with Libby through the Kewaunee Public Library.  Thank-you!

What are your favorite flowers this time of year?  I love anything colorful in the gloom of winter.

Diana, Lady Templeton is a widow and loves to match wits with a known rake, Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham.  They make a wager of 100 pounds that Jeremy will marry within the year.  As Diana is his good friend that he trusts, Jeremy also goes to her with a troublesome problem that his latest paramour criticized him in the bedroom.  Will she be able to help him out with his technique?  Diana thinks that if she takes Jeremy up on his offer, this will only help her win the bet.  At a house party, things go awry as the try to both win their side of the bet.

This book is very steamy.  I loved the witty banter.  It had me laughing out loud in several spots.  I love a good Regency house party and this book was a lot of fun.  I loved how Diana was a strong willed and independent woman and I also love how Jeremy and Diana could talk honestly to each other.

Joel Froomkin and Anais Inara Chase took turns as narrators for the chapters narrated by Diana or Jeremy.  They were fun narrators, and I enjoyed their characters.  Froomkin in particular had a charming aristocratic drawl that I found to be quite delightful.

This is the second novel in the Regency Vows series.  I’ve read books 1 and 3.  I thought I should get book 2 read before the new book 4 comes out!


Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Title:  Pride and Prejudice

Author:  Jane Austen

Narrated by:  Rosalyn Landor 

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

Length: Approximately 12 hours and 36 minutes 

Source: Checked out with Hoopla through the Kewaunee Public Library.  Thank-you!

“What do you find most interesting in Jane Austen?” is the prompt today for #JaneAwesome Wednesday hosted by @nonesense.and.sensibility.    I think her books are soothing.  Just as World War I soldiers read her books during times of trouble, I recently listened to a new to me audiobook version as I have having a hard time settling on any one book after the recent deaths of my Grandma and friend/former teacher Mrs. Smith.  I loved the book all over again while listening to it.  It is masterfully written and was also written to be read aloud to entertain.  This time through I thought that the first proposal scene is probably one of the best written scenes in literature.  It is perfect.  I also felt worse for Lydia this time around.  Now that I have teenagers, I keep thinking – she’s only 15!  I am glad that they did let her visit the family before she heads up north.  I have read this book so many times, but I love it each and every time through.  I tend to focus on different tidbits.  It is definitely a comfort read for me.

Rosalyn Landor is a great narrator and acted out the parts with different distinct voices.  It was very enjoyable to listen to.

“Are you collecting in order to connect with Jane?  What are you collecting?” was the prompt for last week.  I love everything Jane Austen.  My family and friends have started to notice and I’ve received these neat gifts through the years.  I collecting books about Jane, variations, and retellings, mysteries, etc..  

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Just the Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica


Do you really know your neighbors?

Nina Hayes and Lily Scott teach together at a local school.  Nina is married to surgeon Jake Hayes.  After a fight, he disappears.  At first, she thinks it is because he is so angry about their fight, but as the days pass, she starts to think something sinister has happened.

Christian is surprised when his pregnant wife Lily arrives home upset.  She was hiking when she had an altercation with Jake and may be the last person that has seen him.  What exactly happened during that hike?  What lengths will Christian go to in order to keep Lily safe?

Just the Nicest Couple was a slow burn suspense read written with very short sentences. I did figure this one out before the end.  I read and loved Local Woman Missing last year and I felt like Just the Nicest Couple didn’t keep as enthralled as that one.  The book is told from the point of views of Nina and Christian.  They both made a lot of questionable choices.  This book was an okay suspense read.

Book Source:  Purchased from Barnes and Nobles with a Christmas gift card from my sister Katie.  Thank-you!

Monday, March 6, 2023

A Calder at Heart by Janet Dailey (TLC Book Tour)


What is your favorite western book or movie?  We were on a western kick the past few years as a family and watched a lot of classic westerns.  I think my favorite of the mix was The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, but there were a lot of great movies.

A Calder at Heart is a historical fiction western set in Montana in 1919.  Kristin Dollarhide is a doctor who has returned from WWI to her small town of Blue Moon.  She wants to set up a practice and be with her family again.  She tries to forget her sweetheart who died tragically.  When she meets Logan Hunter, she feels something again.  Logan is searching for a new life and to feel something again himself.  A Major in WWI, he returned home to Texas to find that the Spanish flu had killed his entire family.  He sells what is left and decides to move near his Calder relatives in Montana.  He discovers that there is a feud going on between the Dollarhides and the Calders.  Is he a Calder at heart that will get caught up in the feud or will he be able to move on?

I loved this book.  The setting and characters were fantastic. There were just enough characters and build-up that I felt that I knew them all. The chemistry between Kristin and Logan sizzled off the page.  I love reading about this time period and the family drama was riveting.  I also enjoy a Romeo and Juliet type story of two feuding families and a couple who finds love.  I loved that Kristin was a strong and capable woman and Logan was an honorable man.

There were several subplots in this novel that were also very suspenseful including bootlegging, a young woman in trouble, and water rights.  It kept me reading nonstop through the end of the novel.

This is the third novel in a series, but it worked well as a standalone.  It made me really want to read the rest of the series.  I hadn’t read any Janet Dailey novels in awhile, so I looked her up.  Janet Dailey passed away ten years ago, but there is now a ghostwriter writing her novels.  I just wish they had written in the book who the ghostwriter is for A Calder at Heart as I would definitely read more of their works.   There is a nice set of book club discussion questions at the end of this novel.

I keep seeing comparisons of this novel to the series Yellowstone.  I have wanted to watch this series, are you a fan?

Review Copy from Kensington Publishing   Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the TLC Book Tour. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety by Zachary Auburn


What is the last funny book that you read or what is your favorite funny book?  I love funny books and they are really needed during stressful times or after reading a heavy book.

I received a hilarious book as a Christmas gift titled The American Association of Patriots: How to Talk to Your Cat about Gun Safety and Abstinence, Drugs, Satanism, and Other Dangers that Threaten Their Nine Lives.  With a title like that, how can you go wrong?  I loved this synopsis of the book from Goodreads:

“The cats of America are under siege!

Long gone are the good old days when a cat’s biggest worries were mean dogs or a bath. Modern cats must confront satanists, online predators, the possibility of needing to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and countless other threats to their nine lives.

For over four decades, the American Association of Patriots have stood at the vanguard of our country's defense by helping to prepare our nation's cat owners for the difficult conversations they dread having with their pets. Written in a simple Q&A format, How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety answers crucial questions such as, “What is the right age to talk to my cat about the proper use of firearms?” and “What are the benefits of my cat living a lifestyle of abstinence?” and especially “Why does my cat need to use the internet? Can’t he just play with yarn like cats used to do?”

Our country—and our cats—stand at a precipice. It will take courage, and it will take hard work, but armed with the knowledge within these pages, we can make our cats—and America—great again!”

The book is set up like a series of pamphlets that a zealot would give out warning you of the terrors you cat could face from a wide variety of sources.  I love the near constant puns and the pictures of cats holding guns.  I found it better to read a section at a time and not the entire book at once.  My fourteen-year-old son also found this book to be hysterical.

Favorite Quotes:

“…if there is one hard-and-fast rule on this topic, it's this: under no circumstances should you provide your cat with a gun equipped with a laser scope, as your cat is likely to be more interested in the dot it makes than in the deer, burglar, or communist in their sights.”

“It is frequently said that curiosity killed the cat, but what is often left unsaid is that the actual cause of death was the improper discharge of a firearm by a poorly trained feline.”

Book Source:  Christmas present from my friend Jen.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Master Slave Husband Wife by Ilyon Woo


Title:  Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom

Author:  Ilyon Woo

Narrated by:  Janina Edwards and Leon Nixon

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Length: Approximately 12 hours and 54 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Schuster Audio.  Thank you @simonandschuster #BookClubFavorites for the free books!

What book would you like to see made into a movie?  Master Slave Husband Wife is the true story of Ellen and William Craft and their daring escape from slavery in 1848.  It was a riveting book and I can’t believe their story has not yet been made into a movie!

Ellen was a light skinned woman who was enslaved by her half-sister.  William was a cabinet maker and was rented out to ply his trade.  When Ellen’s half-sister’s husband was faced with trying financial times and started selling off slaves, the two came up with a daring plan to escape north.  Ellen dressed up as a fragile young white man who was traveling with his slave, William.  The two took trains, boats, and carriages as they traveled north.  There were many moments of suspense that the two would be caught along the way, but they did make it.

Soon after their escape, they traveled through the north on a speaking tour with William Wells Brown and Frederick Douglass telling of their escape.  After the tour they settled down and William owned his own business. Unfortunately, this safety was not to last as the Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850.  Soon there were people after Ellen and William, and they had to make another escape to Canada and then on to England. 

This was an eye-opening book.  I find it horrifying that someone would own their own children and gift one child to another.  Ellen was a particularly troublesome child as she was often mistaken for a legitimate child with her light skin.  Reading about how William’s family was broken up was also heartbreaking.

 I liked that Ellen and William were able to fake their confidence to make it.  They needed that confidence to act like a gentleman and servant.  I also loved just how smart their plan was.  Ellen wore a shoulder harness to appear like she had an injury so that she couldn’t sign her name (she couldn’t read or write).  She also had poultices on her face to appear ill to help cover up her lack of facial hair.   Such a sickly person would definitely need a slave with her at all times. 

It was disturbing that once they fled to Canada, they were still treated with prejudice and had a hard time getting out of the country. Once they made it to England they were surprised to be treated as human beings with dignity.

Author Ilyon Woo did a masterful job of weaving a compelling narrative.  Woo also included a lot of great background information on the abolition movement that I thought was very interesting.   Janina Edwards and Leon Nixon were captivating narrators.

I read this in February for Black History month, but I’m a bit late on my posting.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

COVER REVEAL - A Winter by the Sea by Julie Klassen

 I am super excited today to be revealing the beautiful new cover of Julie Klassen's new novel A Winter by the Sea which is coming out on December 5th.  It is the second book in the new On Devonshire Shores series.  I LOVED the first book, The Sisters of Sea View.  Julie Klassen is one of my favorite authors.  I highly recommend reading The Sisters of Sea View and her other novels as you wait for A Winter by the Sea to be released later this year.  What do you think of this cover?  I love the colors!


·       Title: A Winter by the Sea

·       Series: On Devonshire Shores (Book 2)

·       Author: Julie Klassen

·       Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction

·       Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (December 5, 2023)

·       Length: (448) pages

·       Format: Hardcover, Trade paperback, & eBook 

·       ISBN: 978-1250867551



When the Duke and Duchess of Kent rent neighboring Woolbrook Cottage for the winter, the Summers sisters are called upon to host three of the royal couple's male staff in their seaside house. But they soon realize they've invited mysterious secrets and the sweet possibility of romance into their home.

Meanwhile, Emily Summers approaches a local publisher in hopes of fulfilling her dream of becoming an author. When he turns her down, his dashing competitor promises to consider her novel if she will first write a new Sidmouth guidebook for him. Emily accepts and begins researching with the help of the Duke of Kent's handsome private secretary. But a surprise visitor from her past shows up at Sea View, leaving Emily torn between the desires she used to hold dear and her budding dreams for the future.

Return to the Devonshire coast with the Summers sisters, where loyalties are tested, secrets come to light, and new love emerges.






Dear Readers,

I am excited to give you an insider’s look at my December 2023 novel, A Winter by the Sea. This is the second book in the On Devonshire Shores series. Book One, The Sisters of Sea View, has been enthusiastically received and reviewed. I am grateful for each of you who helped spread the word about it!

During my research, I learned that the Duke and Duchess of Kent and their baby daughter stayed in Woolbrook Cottage (very near fictional Sea View) during the winter of 1819-1820. I instantly knew I wanted to include them in the novel to give readers a glimpse of the early life of Queen Victoria and her parents. The royal party arrived with too many attendants to accommodate at Woolbrook, so some were lodged elsewhere. I thought it would be fun to have a few staff members stay at Sea View, including a pastry chef who invades their kitchen, a man in desperate straits, and the duke’s handsome private secretary.

It was also interesting to write a seaside novel set during wintertime (it was unusually cold and snowy that year). Because I live in frigid Minnesota, cold weather details and sensations were easy to imagine. 😊

When I began writing this series, I had not yet traveled to Sidmouth, where the series is set. I am happy to say I was able to visit in August 2022 and was thrilled to experience this delightful town in person. The highlight of that trip was meeting the staff and volunteers of the Sidmouth Museum who have been extremely helpful in answering research questions and checking setting details for me.

A Winter by the Sea focuses on beautiful Emily Summers, who finds herself caught up in two rivalries. First, while striving to further her writing aspirations, Emily is torn between her loyalty to a well-established publisher & bookseller and his flamboyant competitor. Second, despite her best intentions, she is attracted to one of their new guests, but an old love comes to town, determined to renew their courtship.

I hope you are eager to return with me to the English seaside for Book Two of the On Devonshire Shores series. Thank you for all you do to support my books, and readers everywhere!

Gratefully, Julie



Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Her books have sold more than a million copies and she is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also been honored with the Minnesota Book Award, Midwest Book Award, and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award. 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 St. Paul, Minnesota.