This is part of a multi-site blog tour with multiple chances to win books! More details all the way at the bottom. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CHRISTINA BERRY is a single mother and foster parent who carves time to write from her busy schedule because she must tell the stories that haunt her every waking moment. (Such is the overly dramatic description of an author's life!) She holds a BA in Literature, yet loves a good Calculus problem, as well. Her debut novel, The Familiar Stranger, releases from Moody in September and deals with lies, secrets, and themes of forgiveness in a troubled marriage. A moving speaker and dynamic teacher, Christina strives to Live Transparently--Forgive Extravagantly!
Her work has also appeared in The Secret Place, The Oregonian, and Daily Devotions for Writers. Find her at www.christinaberry.net and authorchristinaberry.blogspot.com.
THE FAMILIAR STRANGER
by Christina Berry
Published by Moody Publishers
ABOUT THE BOOK
Craig Littleton's decision to end his marriage would shock his wife, Denise...if she knew what he was up to. When an accident lands Craig in the ICU, with fuzzy memories of his own life and plans, Denise rushes to his side, ready to care for him.
They embark on a quest to help Craig remember who he is and, in the process, discover dark secrets. What will she do when she realizes he's not the man she thought he was? Is this trauma a blessing in disguise, a chance for a fresh start? Or will his secrets destroy the life they built together?
Readers, buy your copy of The Familiar Stranger today!
1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?
In the summer of 2006, two stories appeared in the newspaper. One was a huge, national story; the other a smaller, local-interest item. I wondered what it might look like if those two stories conceived a child. Boom! I had the entire plot for The Familiar Stranger. It will be interesting to see if readers can figure out which stories inspired the book.
2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?
Any character has some aspect of my personality, for better or worse. I can only write what I know. I've seen a richness develop in my writing as I've grown in my faith and walked through some valleys in the last decade.
Denise and Craig's story is based on the lessons of forgiveness God taught me when my marriage fell apart...the first time. Accordingly, many of the emotions Denise goes through correspond to what I felt, though our situations differ. However, I also wanted to really understand the male perspective, so Craig had parts of me in him as well. The path away from God and following temptation is something we can all recognize and, unfortunately, identify with.
During the editing process and years after my husband and I reunited, our marriage of thirteen years unexpectedly ended. The words I had written as a happily married woman ministered to me in my singleness. My heart's hope is that this book will lead people to Live Transparently—Forgive Extravagantly!
3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?
My hero would be Double Fudge. Hidden secrets means he's lying in both his professional and personal lives, but he has the potential to be delicious. Oh, and lots of women are attracted to him, which tends to be true of chocolate. ;)
Denise I would describe as a lemon sherbet. She's blonde, a little bit tart while still refreshing, and worried about calories!
4. Are there any themes in The Familiar Stranger that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the stories progressed?
If reading The Familiar Stranger makes even one man or woman be more honest with his or her spouse or delve into trust issues in a healthy way, I'll consider it a success. The recent changes in my life—losing my husband, facing finding a "real" job, selling my home—have done nothing but solidify what I hope to be the theme of the book and my life: Live Transparently—Forgive Extravagantly. Maybe there's a hurting heart that can find a new path to forgiveness because of the story.
5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?
Most difficult part to write: I was in the middle of revisions when my marriage fell apart. God orchestrated it so that I was beefing up a "struggle with forgiveness" scene in those first few weeks of singleness. While aspects of that were hard to deal with, the very words I thought would help someone else ministered to me.
Favorite: I have a scene involving a Krispy Kreme donut that was particularly tantalizing to write. I laugh every time I read it. Also, I had to take a research trip to Multnomah Falls in the gorgeous Columbia Gorge. Using the beauty of that place in a scene was a lot of fun.
6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?
I’m about 1/5 of the way through my next manuscript, Unafraid, a story about a girl's kidnapping, and how her life unfolds because of the trauma. One of my characters is a PI, so I’m having loads of fun with the research.
The humor Sherrie Ashcraft (my sometime co-author and always mother) and I display in our infrequent, humorous newsletters has garnered the attention of an editor. You just might see a funny, non-fiction cooperative work from the Ashberry Ladies at some point in time. You can sign up for that newsletter at www.ashberrylane.net/update.aspx. By signing up, you will be entered to win a 4GB iPod Shuffle or free books for the life of my writing career.
Oh, and I have a funky TV-based devotional a house is interested in. Busy, busy, busy!
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Thank you, Christina, for being in the spotlight with us.
Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of The Familiar Stranger.
Christina will be doing TWO drawings for two TEN-BOOK GIVEAWAYS. The first will take place on September 30th, her birthday. She will draw 10 names, then repeat the process on October 31st. You could be 1 of the 20 winners!
Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname dot.com/net). You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.
And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when the winners are announced each time.
This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.
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BLOG TOUR LIST
Jennifer AlLee http://jenniferallee.blogspot.com
Tiffany Amber Stockon http://amberstockton.blogspot.com
Cara Putman http://carasmusings.blogspot.com
Writing Career Coach Blog http://writingcareercoach.blogspot.com
Sherrie Ashcraft http://www.sherrieashcraft.blogspot.com
Edwina Cowgill http://musingsofedwina.blogspot.com
Nikki Raichart http://beinggratefullygrounded.blogspot.com
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Laura Hilton http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com
Bette Bantz http://bantzbooks.com/Blogspot-Review.html
Stormi Johnson http://bookblogs.ning.com/profiles/blog/list?user=ladystorm30
Michelle Shocklee http://michelleshocklee.blogspot.com
Robin Johns Grant http://dimensionsartandeternity.blogspot.com
Novel Journey http://www.noveljourney.blogspot.com
Tracy Ruckman http://www.pixnpens.com
Karin Beery http://therehastobeabeginning.blogspot.com
Glynn Young http://faithfictionfriends.blogspot.com
Sharon Ball http://www.sharonball.com
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Lyn Cote http://strongwomenbravestories.blogspot.com
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Patty Wysong, Part 1 http://pattywysong.blogspot.com
Patty Wysong, Part 2 http://pattywysong.blogspot.com
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Christa Allan http://christaallan.com/blog
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Susan Reinhardt http://susanjreinhardt.blogspot.com
Annette Irby http://annetteirbyreviews.blogspot.com
Beth Wiseman http://blog.bethwiseman.net
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Angie Breidenbach http://godusesbrokenvessels.blogspot.com
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54 minutes ago