Tales from Ivy Hill, Book 1
(Bethany House Publishers)
December 2016/448 pages/$14.99
Welcome to the English village of Ivy Hill, where friendships thrive, romance blossoms, and mysteries await. . . .
The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.
Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?
As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?
Read an excerpt!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
© Farrow Media
An award-winning novelist of stand-alone novels, Julie Klassen turns her many talents to writing her first series, sweeping me away to early-nineteenth century England with this endearing village that made me long to visit! A complex and intriguing cast of characters inhabit Ivy Hill, and I wasn't sure which ones, especially among the men, were trustworthy. Perhaps my favorite character is Thora, whose brusqueness hides a bruised but tender heart. I couldn't put this one down, and I'm already eagerly anticipating the upcoming books in the series. If you enjoy British historic period dramas, you will love The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill. Grab your copy today!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House Publishers and Regina Jennings for a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Q&A WITH JULIE KLASSEN
1. This book marks the beginning of your first series. After ten stand-alone novels, why a series?
Two reasons. First, I often receive e-mails from readers asking for sequels, or saying they don’t want a book to end. Sometimes I don’t either! After setting up an entire village and populating it with a cast of characters, it’s hard to say good-bye after one book. I am looking forward to staying in the same village for at least three books, going deeper with the main characters, and bringing more characters to life.
Second, many readers (myself included) love village series set in England whether in books or television. Series like Larkrise to Candleford, Cranford, and Thrush Green draw us in with their close-knit communities filled with endearing characters.
Or maybe it’s just the British accents! Whatever the reason, I hope readers will enjoy my first series as well.
2. What can you tell us about the series, Tales from Ivy Hill?
The series tells the stories of four women facing life-altering challenges with the help of their quirky neighbors and intriguing newcomers. Each novel will have a romance and drama wrap up in a hopefully satisfying way, while the main character’s story spans all three books. The series celebrates the strong bonds of friendship, because in a small village like Ivy Hill, everyone is connected, like leaves on a vine.
3. Book One released in December. Can you briefly describe it?
Sure. In The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill, a genteel widow becomes the reluctant landlady of a languishing coaching inn when her husband dies. Jane Bell has no idea how to manage a business. But with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn. As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, Jane restores life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well.
4. Why did you choose to set the book at an inn?
In the early nineteenth century, before the advent of trains, the lifeblood of many small villages were their coaching inns. In this era, stage and mail coaches were the primary means of travel, and they stopped at coaching inns along the way to change horses, let passengers take a meal, or stay the night. Coaching inns were restaurant, hotel, “train” station, travel agency, livery, and repair shop, all rolled into one. I think it’s a wonderful setting for a series, providing a backdrop for a cast of regulars who work at or frequent the inn, as well as for new people who are traveling through.
Many thanks to Bethany House Publishers and Julie Klassen for providing this fascinating author chat!
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