Before I get to today’s article, let me note two things: Springtime in Surrey releases on Tuesday of next week, July 25, AND the pre-orders for the Kindle version are still open right now. If you’d like to support us by purchasing a copy of the book, please pre-order the Kindle now or wait to purchase the paperback version on or after the release date of July 25.
Thank you very much for your support. Each purchase encourages us authors to continue writing stories that will honor God and give you, the reader, hours’ worth of wholesome entertainment.
On to today’s article…
A common question that authors are asked about any story they write is “What inspired you to write this story?”
Usually, this is a challenging question for me, other than what would seem a pat answer of “God did.” That answer, every time I give it, is absolutely true and very far from pat. Faith is everything to me, and God very often presses particular stories into my heart in a variety of ways.
In addition to that, though, the wisps of inspiration can be tricky to nail down.
For The Cottage on the Hill, however, I know exactly how this story came to me.
God pressed the tagline–or the hook–directly into my heart, and I was curious enough about the story that would come from it that I had to explore it deeper and deeper until the whole story unfolded beneath my typing fingers.
What was that hook?
She cried into her tea every afternoon.
He wondered why.
I had no clue who either character was at that point, but I knew I was just as curious as whoever “he” was. I wanted desperately to find out why “she” was crying. I had to know her story. But I also needed to know who the fella was. Clearly, he was a curious sort, but what made him that way–and why did this woman pique that inquisitive nature more than any other?
Discovering the answers to all these questions (and more that cropped up along the way) was grand fun, and I hope you’ll have just as much of a good time while uncovering them for yourself in The Cottage on the Hill, which will be released in Wild Blue Wonder Press’s Springtime in Surrey next week.
The hook for this story still gives me chills when I think about it. Partly, this is because that initial curiosity comes flooding back. The larger portion, though, is because I know it was God who slipped that gem into my heart and whispered, “This is the story to write for this collection.” Any communication I receive from Him is welcome, and I especially love when His words to me are story-related, as that’s my favorite language, my heart-language, if I might be so bold to say.
I love telling people about this hook, this tagline, as well, because their reactions are typically pretty equal parts intrigued, amazed, and curious. From there, I usually explain a bit about the plot, that The Cottage on the Hill features a former ballerina who cries into her tea every afternoon and the sheep-farmer neighbor who wonders why… and what he can do to help.
If the tagline didn’t get them, the mini-blurb usually does.
And that makes me so happy.
Because it’s fun when I’m writing stories that will (hopefully) delight readers. My main goal in writing is to please God–He is the sole Being I write for, after all–but if even one person finds my stories encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring in any way, shape, or form, that’s a beautiful bonus to this amazing job I have the God-given privilege to pursue.
What do you think of the hook for The Cottage on the Hill? Did it pique your interest? Did it make you roll your eyes? Would you pick up the book solely based on that tagline? Did a particular reader-friend or -relative come to mind who would typically love a story with such a hook?
(If the answer to that last one is “yes,” please share this article with them so they may learn more about Springtime in Surrey and my novella in it, The Cottage on the Hill. And thank you!)
Things to Remember
There are a couple of things going on in support of Springtime in Surrey right now. Information for each will be found in the sections below this one.
- The Springtime in Surrey Tag, hosted by my friend and coauthor, Katja H. Labonté.
- The Springtime in Surrey Blog Swap, hosted by me and featuring six of the eight authors (the other two don’t currently have blogs).
Note: The Launch Team and Blog Tour sign-ups are now closed. To those who signed up (and those who are praying for us authors and sharing about our upcoming book even if you didn’t sign up), please accept my deep gratitude for all the effort you’re putting forth on Springtime in Surrey‘s behalf. My team and I are incredibly blessed to have your support for the new book and our publisher, Wild Blue Wonder Press.
The Springtime in Surrey Tag
Have you ever participated in a bookish tag on Instagram or Twitter?
They’re pretty fun. You find books that match the categories and post pictures of them to your social media, remembering to use the hashtags for the bookish tag.
We have one for Springtime in Surrey, hosted by Katja H. Labonté, this month. The instructions and original graphic are posted on her blog, Little Blossoms for Jesus.
Feel free to snag the graphic above and get your books set up and photographed (or borrow the book covers from Goodreads like I did) and let us see what books fit the categories for you.
The hashtags to use for this bookish tag are #TheSpringtimeinSurreyTag and #WildBlueWonderPress. We would appreciate it if you also tag our hostess, @KatjaLabonte.
If you participate on Twitter, you could also tag me: @screenwriter87. That way, I’ll get to see your lovely pictures as well.
I’m participating in this bookish tag on that account. Here’s one of my entries:
Blog Swap Schedule
Please visit any or all of the following articles on the dates given or after. Feel free to share them with your friends, too.
Note: There was an issue with some of the links being broken recently. I have corrected those now, so all the links should take you to the appropriate articles. Please let me know if you come upon an issue. I am still waiting on some of the links, so please hang in there. They are coming.
Kellyn Roth on Resting Life
Erika Mathews on Prose Worthy
Andrea Renee Cox on Resting Life
Erika Mathews on Writing to Inspire
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.
Springtime in Surrey may be found at the following links:
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.
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.
Books to Read
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Want to read free short stories? Explore my short stories page.