Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Romantic Reads: Permelia Cottage

Interview with Carole Lehr Johnson about her novel, Permelia Cottage:

Alexis: What is the significance of the title of your story?

Carole: Permelia is the name of one of my ancestors, and since it’s such a unique name, I thought I’d use it for my cottage.

Alexis: How did you research this story? Did you visit an old cottage in England?

Carole: In 2013, my writing partner and I stayed in Blue Cottage in Wiltshire, England. It was built in the sixteenth-century. I’d already formulated the story, and this cottage fit. Although I did alter the floor plan, etc.

Alexis: Why are the themes of faith and healing central to this story?

Carole: That God works behind the scenes, guiding circumstances to bring about His will, which is always for our good.

Alexis: Tell me about your story’s heroine, Susannah. What is special about her? Describe her looks, personality, and heart. What is her greatest strength?

Carole: Her fortitude. She’s been through a lot in her life but has held onto her faith in God. She’s medium height, dark blonde hair, even-tempered. She has compassion for others. Her greatest strength is staying the course with God.

Alexis: Why did Susannah leave her country? Where does she go?

Carole: She is estranged from her son and has always longed to live in the UK. A small village in the north of England.

Alexis: Why does Susannah’s son not want to be around her? Explain the reason for the adversity.

Carole: Ryan holds her responsible for his father’s abandonment when he was a child. I’d rather not include any spoilers and ruin the story for those who have not read it.

Alexis: How did Susannah first discover Permelia Cottage? Why is it her dream to own it?

Carole: She’d done an online search before her trip to the UK, and this cottage was on the list. Her English ancestry was very close to her heart, and she had fallen in love with this particular area of England from her past travels there and wanted to revisit it.

Alexis: Describe the village of Neville. Why is it special to the people who live there?

Carole: Neville is a picturesque English village with many charming historic buildings, houses, and cottages and a family-like community of closeness.

Alexis: Tell me about your story’s hero Colin Heard. What makes him a remarkable man? Describe his looks, personality, and goals. What is his greatest weakness?

Carole: Colin is tall and lean, has dark-wavy hair, and holds great respect in the community. He is a man of principle. His company is very successful, and he uses his wealth to help others, but he does sometimes overstep his boundaries to help someone.

Alexis: How did Colin and Susannah meet? Why was their attraction so instant and mutual? Explain what drew them together like a magnet and share what threatens to tear them apart.

Carole: The story of Colin and Susannah’s meeting is near to my heart, and I’d rather the reader discover this on their own. I will say that Susannah’s insecurities cause some turmoil between them, along with misunderstandings and issues from Colin’s past.

Alexis: Tell me about Susannah’s son Ryan. What is it about the past that he longs to forget? Why does he believe that he needs to have a structured life in New York City. What is his motivation? Describe the deeper meaning to all of this without giving away the story.

Carole: Ryan is an up-and-coming marketing executive in New York City. He longs for the success and prestige of moving up the corporate ladder, but he also is haunted by the hurts of his childhood and confusion in his teenage years. He is struggling with a lot but burying it deeply until a special encounter in England starts him to question many aspects of his life.

Alexis: Who is April Conyers and why is her role in this story of great significance?

Carole: April is a young woman from the village of Neville, who owns a bookshop in a nearby village. She becomes intertwined in the story when she meets Ryan in England and realizes her connection to his mother. She is also grappling with a painful past.

Alexis: What is it about April that makes Ryan feel drawn to her and want to know her more?

Carole: April is friendly and straightforward. She also seems to see more into his past than he wants anyone to do.

Alexis: What is April’s first impression of Ryan? Is it a lasting impression? Why or why not?

Carole: Her first impression is that he seems a bit too focused on his career and a bit uptight, and that he is uncomfortable speaking about his mother.

Alexis: Why did you as the author put Ryan on a path to redemption? How will this help him?

Carole: When the story starts, Ryan thinks he has his life figured out and has just what he wants out of that life. But he needs to grapple with the past, and he does not want to do so.

Alexis: What do you want readers to remember the most about your story?

Carole: That God is a God of second chances and redemption and no matter how far we run from the truth He will reveal it to us if we will seek Him.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Carole! Would you like to share closing comments?

Carole: Thank you for having me as your guest, Alexis. I have enjoyed our chat about my debut novel. I want to mention that my next novel, A Place in Time, is set to release on May 26, 2021. It is a bit of a departure from Permelia Cottage as it involves time travel to the 17th century, but it is still set within the heart of England at a manor house. If anyone would like more information, please visit my website, www.carolelehrjohnson.com.

Author Bio:

Carole Lehr Johnson is a veteran travel consultant of more than 30 years and has served as head of genealogy at her local library.

Her love of tea and scones, castles and cottages, and all things British have led her to immerse her writing in the United Kingdom, whether in the genre of historical or contemporary fiction.

She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the president of her local chapter. She and her husband live in Louisiana with their goofy cats. Permelia Cottage is her first novel.

For more information, visit www.CaroleLehrJohnson.com.

Back cover copy for Carole’s book, Permelia Cottage:

Can an old English cottage bring renewed faith and healing to several broken hearts?


Susannah Wilkinson leaves her country, and the son she no longer believes wants nor needs her, and flees to England to fulfill her lifelong dream of owning a centuries-old cottage.

Life in the quiet village of Neville is everything she dreamed of, though an interest in the charming Colin Heard was never on the agenda. Their mutual attraction comes to an abrupt end when Susannah finds herself in an unexpected life-altering situation.

Two years later, Ryan Wilkinson travels to Neville to settle his mother's affairs. He longs to forget the past and return to his structured life in New York City. During his days in the village, he meets local bookstore owner April Conyers. He unexpectedly feels drawn to her as they work together for her to purchase his mother's beloved cottage. 

Ryan returns to the U.S. after his interactions with April have shaken him to his core and pulled down walls between him and the painful past. Although, there may be a path to redemption if he is willing to step out in faith.

Buy Permelia Cottage (book) on Amazon or Indie Bound

Connect with Carole:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCaroleLehrJohnson/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17978290.Carole_Lehr_Johnson
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carole-lehr-johnson
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolelehr/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/carolelehr/boards/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/carolelehrjohns

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  1. I'm always up to visiting new places so Yes I would go visit Permelia Cottage.

  2. Thank you for your comment. The villages are my favorite part of England.


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