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The Cast of The Cottage on the Hill

The publication of Springtime in Surrey is one month away. Seriously, just a single month. That means that very soon, you’ll be able to read eight novellas by some talented Christian authors.

My novella in the collection is The Cottage on the Hill. It features a cast I swiftly fell in love with, one I hope you’ll come to cherish as well.

Images borrowed from Pinterest;
collage created by Grace A. Johnson

A quick little note: Stay tuned after the following introductions, because there are a couple of opportunities for you to join the Springtime in Surrey team and help us spread the word about the anthology.

Introducing the Cast of The Cottage on the Hill:

Moira Wood

The leading lady of Cottage is a former ballerina. She’s elegant and graceful and has proper posture from years of training. Even though she no longer performs, she keeps to the discipline of not indulging in sweets.

Moira struggles with accepting that life hasn’t gone as she planned. She wishes she could be back on the stages of the world, but the doctors have told her that’s impossible. Coming to terms with that might be her biggest challenge yet.

Adrian Davis

The leading man in the story is a sheep farmer and a new neighbor to Moira. He enjoys fixing things around the farm and in relatives’ homes, but he longs for a farm of his own.

Adrian is a gentleman who likes to use creativity to entertain if it means lifting a person’s spirits. He’s hardworking and eager to help others solve their problems, but he isn’t overbearing.

Images borrowed from Pinterest;
collage created by Andrea Renee Cox

Uncle Royston

Adrian’s uncle is a curmudgeonly sort of man, grumpy and independent, with a strong will and stubborn pride. He loves his nephew, but you’ll likely never hear him say as much. He enjoys telling wild tales to make a day’s work go faster and steadier.

Mrs. Brown

Mrs. Brown is a friendly woman of short stature and big heart. She loves children of all ages, whether they’re her own or not, and she feels like she’s helped raise every child who was born in her small village and on the farms thereabouts–or those who visited relatives regularly in the summertime. She’s a bit saucy and has a sweet tooth to rival that of her grandkids. When she sees someone hurting, she has the heart to help but not always the means. In this way, she loves setting other people to work… and perhaps doing a little matchmaking while she’s at it.

Images borrowed from Pinterest;
collage created by Grace A. Johnson

Mrs. Cook

Mrs. Cook is the housekeeper and carer (the British term for the American caretaker) for Moira. She’s definitely got a bit of the matchmaker in her as well, but what comes out the most is her mother-hen spirit.


Henrique is Moira’s former dance partner. He has regrets about the way Moira’s career ended, and he struggles to deal with that. He’s strong and muscular yet longs to find his steadiness again. More than anything, he wants to make up for his past mistake and what it cost his best friend.

Images borrowed from Pinterest;
collage created by Grace A. Johnson

Summer Writing Plans

Spring has seen me quite busy with copyediting jobs. While I have another one coming up in July, I’m hoping and planning to carve out some time for writing again. I’ve already begun, actually, though my time for writing each day is very brief.

100-for-100 Challenge

As with the last couple of summers, I have decided to take part in the 100-for-100 writing challenge hosted by Go Teen Writers. This is a challenge to write 100 words every day for 100 days.

Why did I choose to participate even though the challenge began in the middle of my busiest month of the summer? Because I knew I needed the push to squeeze in a bit of writing. I needed to get back into the rhythm so that my skills wouldn’t grow stale; this also is in preparation for Write In Faith Camp, which takes place in July. I knew God was impressing a story upon my heart that needed to be told.

Write In Faith Camp

Next month is Write In Faith Camp, and I’m eager to see how much progress everyone makes on their respective works-in-progress (WIPs).

My own project will feature a novelist, a journalist, and a woodsman, all with sorrows and struggles to sort out. One thing I’ve discovered about it already is that the leading lady is dealing with a friend’s suicide. This isn’t a topic I thought I’d cover early in my writing career, if at all, yet here I am with a story bursting to get out of my heart that features that very thing.

Since my One Word this year is Listen, I figure I shouldn’t say no to God’s urging. Who am I to say what He might have planned for this story? He must have something special in store for it. Perhaps He even has a particular message for me to weave into this story that may just touch the soul of someone struggling with a downward spiral of thoughts the very moment they’ll read about the leading lady’s friend and her struggle to understand the whys of it all.

I claim to have no answers save one: that God is the Answer to every doubt, every pain, every struggle we face. Whether that is suicidal thoughts or not having done enough to help a friend struggling with such darkness, God knows how to help even when we humans do not.

There is no telling at this moment where this story’s journey will take me, but I’m eager to see just what truths God has to share with me (and with my readers) through it.

My word-count goal for July is 18,000 words. This number is smaller than I’m used to for a WIF Camp month. With a large edit job (not as ginormous as this month’s, thankfully), I’m aiming small and hoping for bigger.

It’s sometimes a tricky balance, fitting in writing around editing and tutoring, but it’s one I love to sort out day by day, month by month, year by year. Writing is a passion God has given me, a calling, really. I cannot deny that, and I cannot give up on it, even if it means staying up a little later or sneaking in a few words while I’m waiting on a student to arrive or during a lunch break from editing.

Launch Team Sign-Ups

Springtime in Surrey releases at the end of July (July 25 is the big day!), and we could use your help. We’re putting together a launch team to help spread the word about the book during the week of the launch.

There are several different ways in which you can help, and they’re all listed in this form. If you’re able and willing to lend a hand, we’d greatly appreciate it.

If you would like to help us, please fill out the form and await the e-mail that will head your way soon after.

You have my hearty and genuine thanks.

Blog Tour Sign-Ups

Another way you can help us spread the word about Springtime in Surrey is to sign up for our blog tour. This will also take place during the launch week.

For this one, one of the options is to interview an author in the collection. You get to ask an author up to five questions to feature on your blog during that week. How fun is that? Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing your creativity in the asking.

You may take part in the launch team, the blog tour, or both. Whichever way you choose, thank you.

If none of the options work for you, I completely understand. One simple way you can help without signing up is to pray that the Lord blesses the book and the readers who choose to read it. That is the single greatest gift you can give an author, honestly, to uphold them (and their work) in prayer so that God’s will might be done through their hand.

Here is the form for the blog tour sign-ups for Springtime in Surrey.

About Springtime in Surrey

This collection of novellas, set in County Surrey, England, features both historical and contemporary stories by new and old authors!

Springtime in Surrey contains the follow eight novellas:

Jesus, I Am Resting by Faith Blum
An orphaned young woman must fight to survive after WWI breaks out, praying her beau doesn’t die on a foreign battlefield like her father did years ago.

The Cottage on the Hill by Andrea Renee Cox
A former ballerina seeks hope amongst her lost dreams, as a sheep farmer tries to bring her joy.

If I Knew You Were Coming by Bailey Gaines
An exhausted mother balances her duties to both her biological and evacuee children with preparation for an unexpected visit from her soldier husband.

Her Heart’s Home by Grace A. Johnson
A destitute woman is pursued by an unexpected suitor and finds blessings from God in the way she least expected.

The Tussie-Mussie by Katja H. Labonté
A disgraced debutante flees to the country, only to meet a reclusive writer who may change her life forever.

The Odd Duck Society by Rachel Leitch
An insecure university student returns to a tea shop after a mysterious letter summons her there.

Fear Not Tomorrows by Erika Mathews
A hard-working sister-of-seven struggles with contentment as her marriage is postponed by her fiancé’s absence.

Courage to Stay by Kellyn Roth
A young bride chases her husband into the forest to rescue him from himself, which goes about as well as one would expect.

Other Springtime in Surrey Updates

For the latest updates directly from Wild Blue Wonder Press, visit their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

My fellow authors are sharing about their stories as well. Check out any or all of their links for the latest tidbits of news.

Faith Blum | Instagram
Grace A. Johnson | Blog
Katja H. Labonté | Blog | Cover Reveal (on blog)
Rachel Leitch | Blog | Instagram | Interview
Erika Mathews | Instagram
Kellyn Roth | Cover Reveal (on blog)

Books to Read

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Short Stories

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