Reading has been one of my favorite hobbies since before I can remember. There’s a picture that hangs in my parents’ living room that shows me as an eighteen-month-old or so with a book in hand and focus in my eyes. I highly doubt I could read at that age, but my fascination with books remains the same now as it was then.
My mom recently asked me if I ever get tired of reading. The simple answer is no. I love reading. I will likely always love reading. Paperback, hardcover, ebook, and audio are all options for me, and to this day, I travel with a book in my purse and generally have at least one tome within arm’s reach at nearly all times.
Yes, it’s difficult to still enjoy reading after finding three or four duds in a row, but reading is a passion for me, and I always return to it even if I take small breaks from it to reset my mind after a tough string of bad books or to accomplish non-reading tasks. (Yes, those do exist, folks.)
One challenge about having deadlines is that one must choose to write instead of read. There’s only so much time in a day, and since I have writing deadlines now, I can’t just sit and read in all this spare time, much as I would love to, because “spare time” is no longer something I have in abundance, sadly.
Choosing to write (instead of read) means making the most use of my time every day. In the months that I don’t edit for clients (because that’s a totally different responsibility that interrupts my writing schedule and forces me to get quite creative in squeezing in my word-count goals), I like to begin my days with a writing session. This is usually a four-hour block from ten to two, with a small lunch break around noon. After that, I have to switch gears for my afternoon task of tutoring middle school students. If I didn’t reach or surpass my daily word-count goal in the morning session, then I get right back to work on the word chase after grabbing a quick snack to recharge my reserves.
I’m a night owl, so I often am to be found writing late into the night, sometimes as late as two or three in the morning, particularly during a Write In Faith Camp (WIF Camp) month. After eight p.m. seems to be Magic Hour for me, as the creative juices flow really well from that point forward until my mind and body eventually tell me to get some much-needed sleep. Some of my greatest scenes and best ideas have come to fruition between eight at night and two in the morning.
Reading takes a backseat to my writing these days, and one of the few times I’m almost guaranteed to find some time for it is as I’m trying to fall asleep. But even that time is iffy, because my work wears out my mind so much that I’ve been dropping off before I even get a sentence completed. This is a good problem to have, really, as much as I dislike admitting that. One of my dreams is to be a prolific writer with hundreds of titles available for readers to consume at their leisure. In order to reach that goal, I must be responsible and choose to write (instead of read).
Springtime in Surrey Cover Reveal
One of those recent writing deadlines was penning a novella for Springtime in Surrey, the debut anthology for Wild Blue Wonder Press. Today, I’m happy to reveal to you the spectacular cover created by Hannah Linder Designs.
The thing I love about this cover is that it sets the tone for both the setting (Surrey, England, a mostly rural county neighboring London) and the season (spring). It’s cheery and bright and eye-catching. It’s a cover that would make me pick up the book to learn more about the stories behind that beautiful picture, were I to see it sitting on a shelf in a store or library.
What do you think?
Does the cover make you even more interested in reading the book?
About the Book
Springtime in Surrey, the first collection releasing with Wild Blue Wonder Press, is a Christian anthology featuring eight lovely stories. With a mix of historical and contemporary, romance and women’s fiction, a dash of mystery here and there, real-life themes presented in a loving way, and a vintage feel, this story is sure to charm lovers of Christian women’s fiction.
Jesus, I Am Resting by Faith Blum
Elinor Chapman, an orphaned laundry woman, must fight to survive after WWI breaks out. She prays her beau doesn’t die on a foreign battlefield like her father did 14 years ago. She is forced to take on nursing, but her passion for helping other orphans distracts her from this job, leaving her little time for rest. Will she run herself into the ground … or will she learn to rest in Jesus?
The Cottage on the Hill by Andrea Renee Cox
During every teatime at her cottage hideaway, Moira struggles to discover hope amongst her lost ballerina dreams. Unsettled by elusive goals of his own, sheep farmer Adrian observes his uncle’s neighbor crying into her tea and wonders why… and what he can do to cheer her up. While facing their regrets, can Moira and Adrian trust that God has a good plan despite crushed dreams and far-off hopes?
If I Knew You Were Coming by Bailey Gaines
With her husband off to war and two evacuee children staying in her home, Joan feels duty-bound to contribute to the war effort via her participation in the Women’s Land Army. She is thrilled to learn that her husband has leave. But when the London Blitz ruins her plans to see him, Joan must decide what is most important in her life: her contribution to the war effort or her calling as a mother?
Her Heart’s Home by Grace A. Johnson
Forced from her childhood home after her father was killed in action, Meredith Tate is forced to seek employment at the Deepdene Hotel until she discovers the next step. Which most certainly does not include the brooding Captain Trevor Seaton, a guest who always manages to catch her at her worst. Despite his gentle magnetism, Meredith is determined not to fall for a military man—but God may have other plans.
The Tussie-Mussie by Katja H. Labonté
Caitrìona is determined to rescue her family from poverty by making a brilliant match. She is on the verge of success when her brother is arrested for a sensational crime. Banished to the country, she meets Ewart, a fearful recluse with a younger sister in need of aid. Ewart and Caitrìona grow together through shared goals—but as mysteries are uncovered and characters tested, what truth will be revealed?
The Odd Duck Society by Rachel Leitch
Jessamy Aubertine is too much for her university classmates, too little for her overstressed mum, and nothing in between. Then a mysterious letter signed by Jane Austen brings her back to her family’s fading tea shop and a pair of unlikely comrades. Will they find the letter writer—and perhaps discover themselves along the way? Or will their friendship fade with The Muses?
Fear Not Tomorrows by Erika Mathews
Hardworking Margaret Enfield is thrilled with her engagement to her lifelong best friend Lester. When his brother’s sudden illness forces Lester’s prolonged and indefinite absence, every tomorrow feels bleak to Margaret as lonely drudgery overtakes the once-rosy springtime. As she throws herself into her tasks, can she learn to trust her tomorrows with Jesus—one day at a time?
Courage to Stay by Kellyn Roth
Rosalind finds herself engaged to Matthias after her former fiancé, his brother, perishes in battle. Determined to forge a connection, she embarks on a risky mission. When Matthias retreats into his own turmoil on a hunting trip, Rosalind disguises herself as a man and follows him to the forest, vowing to fight for their love. Will Matthias summon the courage to stay, or will his fractured mind drive them apart forever?
Links for the Book
Pre-Order sales help us authors in more ways than one. They encourage us to keep writing stories for you, dear readers. They help our book climb the ranks on Amazon, which helps other readers discover our collection of novellas. We appreciate each one of you who chooses to purchase our book and support us in our creative work. Thank you!
Please also consider adding Springtime in Surrey to your want-to-read shelf on Goodreads. This will help your Goodreads friends discover our book, but you may also use Goodreads’s “recommend this book” feature to send the link directly to your friends on the site. This helps us spread the word about our book and hopefully help many more readers discover some enjoyable novellas. Thank you for sharing the book in this way, if you choose to.
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C5QG75DK
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/157492074-springtime-in-surrey
Website Link: https://wildbluewonderpress.com/springtime-in-surrey/
About the Authors
Faith Blum is a wife, mom, author, and entrepreneur. She’s published over 30 books, most of them in the Christian Historical Fiction genre. She loves stories because they can teach history, but in a fun way. It is also her way to have a creative outlet while taking care of a household and toddler.
She’s been a proud small town resident her whole life and wouldn’t have it any other way. She lives in Central Wisconsin with her husband, son, and cat, Smokey. She’s blessed to write as a part time career. You can find her books on books on most eBook retailers.
When not writing, you can find her cooking from scratch, reading, figuring out social media content, or spending time with her family. She also loves playing piano for church and being part of the Author Conservatory.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Faith-Blum/e/B00GSPBHW6
Born and raised in north Texas, Andrea Renee Cox is a born-again child of God who enjoys writing stories that inspire, copyediting fiction manuscripts, tutoring middle school students, and going on road trips with her family. Whether she’s working on historical or contemporary, women’s fiction or romance, she uses her skills in research and writing techniques—as well as a large dose of prayer and guidance from God—at every turn in the journey to produce the best story of her ability every single time. Her books may be found on her website, and readers are welcome to follow her blog for the latest updates in her journey.
Bailey Gaines is a Georgia girl who loves history. Through her writing, she hopes to show how God works in all periods of history, bringing healing and helping people know they have value because of their identity as a human created in God’s image. Her stories range from King Richard the Lionheart’s England to 1930s Appalachia to 18th century England to 19th century America.
Bailey is a student of the Author Conservatory, and has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When she’s not writing, she’s helping homeschoolers with their writing or working at an escape room. Her hobbies include playing the piano, sewing, and exploring the world of vintage fashion.
Grace A. Johnson is a Christian fiction authoress, book reviewer, and avid reader. She lives in beautiful (but humid) South Georgia, surrounded by farmland and forestry, with her parents and six younger siblings. She has indie-published the first three novels in a Christian historical romance series, the Daughters of the Seven Seas, and a smattering of short stories and novellas, as well as a devotional. She’s also a marketer and editor who loves helping young authors through her editing business S&J Editors and her small publishing company Sky’s the Limit Press. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook @graceajohnsonauthor or blogging on her website at www.graceajohnson.com. Join her for a virtual cup of tea and a free preview of her debut novel when you sign up for her e-newsletter!
Katja H. Labonté is a Christian, an extreme bibliophile who devours over 365 books in a year, and an exuberant writer with a talent for starting short stories that explode into book series. She is a bilingual French-Canadian and has about a dozen topics she’s excessively passionate about (hint: that’s why she writes). Katja writes both contemporary and historical fiction, as well as non-magical historical and contemporary kingdom fiction, and covers themes of worth, love, peace, and Christian growth. She spends her days enjoying little things, growing in faith, learning life, and loving people. You can follow her life journey, find free books, browse her services, and more on her website and blog.
Amazon Author account: http://amzn.to/3WE7D15
Rachel Leitch discovered the book of writing when she was seven. She’s been turning pages ever since! She lives her own adventure in northern Indiana, with her parents, three sisters, two brothers, and a dog who thinks he’s the hero of her story. She writes young adult historical fiction with a dash of adventure or a spark of magic. When she’s not hidden away writing, she’s trying to fit all her reads on her shelf in a somewhat organized manner, obsessing over character arcs, drinking chai, daydreaming at the piano, or teaching students to be just as bookish as she is. In all her adventures, she learns how to shine brighter for the Father of Lights. For more bookish ramblings (and a free digital short story involving a magical violin) follow her adventure journal at https://racheljleitch.com/!
Erika Mathews is an author and editor who writes family-friendly Christian living books, both fiction and non-fiction, that demonstrate the power of God through ordinary people, transforming daily life into His resting life. Her works include Truth from Taerna, a kingdom adventure fiction series with deep spiritual themes, Resting Life, a Christian living nonfiction book about finding rest in Jesus in modern life, and a variety of historical fiction and poetry.
Erika lives in the farm country of Minnesota with her husband and children. She’s a homeschool graduate with a Bachelor’s in Communications, a Master’s in Biblical Ministries, and a passion for sharing Jesus Christ and His truth. When she’s not working with books, she enjoys reading, outdoor activities, piano and violin, organizing, and using the Oxford comma.
Kellyn Roth is a historical romance & women’s fiction author who writes about the empty places where hope has the most room to grow. Her novels include the inspirational Victorian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, and the Kees & Colliers series, which follows a broken family in the tumultuous years of the first half of the 20th century.
Kellyn is a student of the Author Conservatory and a writing coach. When not building her author career or her indie-author-helping business, Wild Blue Wonder Press, she is likely getting lost somewhere in the Pacific Northwest with her friends, watching period dramas and facetious comedies, or spending time with her husband.
More Springtime in Surrey Updates
I’ll be beginning the copyedits for Springtime in Surrey this week. It’s a large book with eight novellas, so I will be glued to my computer for the foreseeable future. I’m looking forward to getting to know the other stories as well as my own through this process.
My fellow authors are sharing about their stories as well. Check out any or all of their links for the latest tidbits of news.
BOOKS TO READ
Want to read one of my books? Explore my books page.
Purchasing one of my books directly supports my writing career.
Posting an honest review of one of my books on Goodreads or your favorite retail site helps other readers know whether or not they’d also like to read my books.
Want to read free short stories? Explore my short stories page.