The Dancing Master, is the newest page-turner penned by award winning author Julie Klassen, who was recently honored with Christian Retailing’s 2013 “Best Award” for Historical Romance.
Once again, critics rave, Klassen captures the hearts of fans and enchants them with well-developed characters, plot twists and attention to detail with this romantic period piece. Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte fans alike will love Klassen once they read The Dancing Master, drawn in by the mystery, romance and drama Klassen has become known for.
Brimming with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master focuses on Alec Valcourt, who leaves London for remote Devonshire, bringing along his sister and mother. As they settle in, Alec soon learns that dancing is not allowed. Stunned over the revelation that his avocation has been prohibited by the village matriarch for reasons yet unknown, he quickly finds an unlikely ally in her daughter, Julia Midwinter.
Julia, whose mother would never approve of the handsome, young dancing master, is quickly smitten, but confused by his decision to leave London and his reluctance to divulge information about his past.
Wary at first, Alec begins to see that Julia’s bold exterior masks a vulnerability tucked away with her own secret sorrows. Together they find their way through a tangle of old secrets, but will their efforts be enough to breathe life back into her somber village – and help heal the scarred heart of Julia’s mother?
“A fantastic read,” says author Michelle Griep about The Dancing Master, adding, “Every time I was sure I had figured out the twisty-turny plot, the story would take another turn to prove me wrong. I loved it!”
Klassen, a graduate of the University of Illinois, turned to writing full time following 16 years in the publishing industry. Her awards include the Christy Award for Historical Romance – The Silent Governess (2010) as well as The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011), which was also awarded the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction.
Klassen’s novels, she recently told Suzanne Woods Fisher, fellow Christian romance novelist and former contributing editor to Christian Parenting Today, are set in Regency England – the early 1800s – an era Klassen fondly dubs the Jane Austen era.
“I consider myself something of an Anglophile and jokingly say the real reason I am writing is to justify my long-held desire to travel to England. My husband and I have been able to go twice now to research the books. We hope to go back someday soon,” Klassen said.
Klassen, former advertising professional and past editor for Bethany House Publishers, also shared her most (and least) favorite things about writing,
“Well, no one likes negative reviews (they’ve been rare—but they still sting. These days, I don’t read reviews. My husband does and forwards constructive ones to me. Thankfully, most are positive.), Klassen shared.
“Some of the best moments have been the pleasure and privilege of dedicating books to loved ones, or honoring special people in my author’s notes,” Klassen said, adding, “The worst moment was probably being taken to task over a point of historical accuracy in my first novel. I learned pretty quickly that Regency-era history buffs can be tough critics. I do as much research as I can, but I am fallible. I’m still working to develop the “thick skin” writers are advised to have.”
“Truthfully,” she emphasized, “the best part [about writing] is the fulfillment of knowing I’m (finally!) doing what God wired me to do–and for His glory.”
Fans of Suzanne Klassen’s novels are invited to sign-up for her email list via her website or find her at “Author Julie Klassen” on Facebook.
The Dancing Master was published December 24th 2013 by Bethany House Publishers.