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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Spotlight on Christina Berry and The Familiar Stranger

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!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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!

* * * * *

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.

* * * * *

BLOG TOUR LIST

Tuesday, 9/1
Jennifer AlLee http://jenniferallee.blogspot.com

Wednesday, 9/2
Tiffany Amber Stockon http://amberstockton.blogspot.com

Thursday, 9/3
Cara Putman http://carasmusings.blogspot.com

Friday, 9/4
Writing Career Coach Blog http://writingcareercoach.blogspot.com

Saturday, 9/5
Sherrie Ashcraft http://www.sherrieashcraft.blogspot.com

Sunday, 9/6
Edwina Cowgill http://musingsofedwina.blogspot.com

Monday, 9/7
Nikki Raichart http://beinggratefullygrounded.blogspot.com

Tuesday, 9/8
Patricia Woodside http://readinnwritin.blogspot.com

Wednesday, 9/9
Jody Hedlund http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.com

Thursday, 9/10
Dawn King http://momofkings.wordpress.com

Friday, 9/11
Grace Bridges http://splashdownreviews.blogspot.com

Saturday, 9/12
Laura Hilton http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com

Sunday, 9/13
Bette Bantz http://bantzbooks.com/Blogspot-Review.html

Monday, 9/14
Stormi Johnson http://bookblogs.ning.com/profiles/blog/list?user=ladystorm30

Tuesday, 9/15
Michelle Shocklee http://michelleshocklee.blogspot.com

Wednesday, 9/16
Robin Johns Grant http://dimensionsartandeternity.blogspot.com

Thursday, 9/17
Novel Journey http://www.noveljourney.blogspot.com

Friday, 9/18
Tracy Ruckman http://www.pixnpens.com

Saturday, 9/19
Karin Beery http://therehastobeabeginning.blogspot.com

Sunday, 9/20
Glynn Young http://faithfictionfriends.blogspot.com

Monday. 9/21
Sharon Ball http://www.sharonball.com

Tuesday, 9/22
Cathy Bryant http://wordvessel.blogspot.com

Wednesday, 9/23
Roseanna White http://roseannamwhite.blogspot.com

Thursday, 9/24
Ashley Weis http://blog.ashleyweis.com

Friday, 9/25
Brenda Anderson http://spirereviews.blogspot.com

Saturday, 9/26
Krista Phillips http://reflectionsbykrista.blogspot.com

Sunday, 9/27
Debra Ullrick http://christianromancewriter.blogspot.com

Monday, 9/28
Chila “Maggie” Woychik http://msghomeschoolauthors.blogspot.com

Tuesday, 9/29
Lyn Cote http://strongwomenbravestories.blogspot.com

Wednesday, 9/30
Cindy Loven http://cindystamps.blogspot.com

Thursday, 10/1
Patty Wysong, Part 1 http://pattywysong.blogspot.com

Friday, 10/2
Patty Wysong, Part 2 http://pattywysong.blogspot.com

Saturday, 10/3
Jeannie Campbell http://charactertherapist.blogspot.com

Sunday, 10/4
Christa Allan http://christaallan.com/blog

Monday, 10/5
Jaime Wright Sundsmo http://thejaimereports.blogspot.com

Tuesday, 10/6
Miralee Ferrell http://www.miraleesdesk.blogspot.com

Wednesday, 10/7
Martha Rogers http://marthasbooks.blogspot.com

Thursday, 10/8
Delores Liesner http://www.examiner.com/x-8081-Milaukee-Christian-Living-Examiner

Friday, 10/9
Ann Shorey http://annshorey.blogspot.com

Saturday, 10/10
Lil Duncan http://www.examiner.com/x-12639-Cleveland-Christian-Books-Examiner

Sunday, 10/11
Winter Peck http://www.rodeosuspense.com/?page_id=5

Monday, 10/12
Lisa Lickel http://lisalickel.com/cgi- bin/blog

Tuesday, 10/13
Mara Kim http://marakim.blogspot.com

Wednesday, 10/14
Jodie Bailey http://jodiebailey.blogspot.com

Thursday, 10/15
Deborah Vogts http://www.deborahvogts.blogspot.com

Friday, 10/16
Susan Reinhardt http://susanjreinhardt.blogspot.com

Saturday, 10/17
Annette Irby http://annetteirbyreviews.blogspot.com

Sunday, 10/18
Beth Wiseman http://blog.bethwiseman.net

Monday, 10/19
Tammy Bowers http://writesteps.blogspot.com

Tuesday, 10/20
Margie Vawter http://marjorievawter.blogspot.com

Wednesday, 10/21
Lynette Sowell http://myslicesoflife.blogspot.com

Thursday, 10/22
Trish Perry http://trishperry.blogspot.com

Friday, 10/23
Jude Urbanski http://judeurbanski.blogstream.com

Saturday, 10/24
Brenda Jackson http://bkjackson.blogspot.com

Sunday, 10/25
Kristen Johnson http://adventuresofhistorygirl.blogspot.com

Monday, 10/26
Carla Stewart http://carlastewart.blogspot.com

Tuesday, 10/27
Jean Kiney http://kystorywriter.blogspot.com

Wednesday, 10/28
Angie Breidenbach http://godusesbrokenvessels.blogspot.com

Thursday, 10/29
Linda Rondeau http://lindarondeau.blogspot.com

Friday, 10/30
Camy Tang http://camys-loft.blogspot.com

Saturday, 10/31
Rose McCauley http://rosemccauley.blogspot.com

19 comments:

Lady Araujo said...

I've heard this book is really amazing. I'd love to win it. Please, enter me.

marthanadnny(at)hotmail(dot)com

Christina Berry said...

Thank you, Tiffany, for hosting this. I really liked thinking about the ice cream flavors! Yum. :)

Lady Araujo, best of luck! Just keep following the tour around and you'll have LOTS of chances.

mariska said...

Wow..what a long book's Tour that you have : )
Hi Christina, I've been following you around lately, to make sure that i have the chance to win your fabulous book!
The Ice cream thing makes me laugh and 'YUM' :D
Mariska
cuniquas at gmail dot com

Jeanette Levellie said...

What a delicious interview! I love the phrase "forgive extravagantly." And that you walked through it while writing makes it so meaningful.
Please enter my name in the drawing. Now I'm hungry to read this book...
jeanettelevellie(at)gmail(dot)com
Thank you!
Jen
Audience of ONE

Cherie J said...

I enjoyed the spotlight. This sounds like a wonderful book. Please enter me in the drawing.

cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

Christina Berry said...

It's been a pleasure to share what God is doing in my life through this book. Thanks for following, ladies!

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

WOW ~ you're going to be busy! You might want to stock up on ice cream, before you're too tired to run out and get it! :D

Your books sounds wonderful, I can't wait to give it try.

~ Lori
sugarandgrits{at}hotmail{dot}com
http://sugarandgrits.blogspot.com

Linda said...

Great books. Please enter me. Thanks.
desertrose5173 at gmail com

Anonymous said...

I would love to win The Familiar Stranger as well as the other books Christina will offer. Please
enter me. Thanks.
jackie.smith(at)dishmail(dot)net

Buukluvr81 said...

The books sound really wonderful! Please enter me!

mollydawn1981(at)aol(dot)com

connie said...

Please enter me! Blessings!!!

connieed53(at)aol(dot)com

squiresj said...

First off congratulations on the book. Secondly Happy Birthday early. I enjoyed this blog. The book sounds interesting and I'd love to win it.
God bless and annoint you and use you mightily for his glory.
jrs362(at)hotmail(dot)com

Christina Berry said...

Lori, I guess I need to stock up on ice cream and keep a fan happy. :) I like the way you think!

Thanks for being interested, all of you!

And thanks, squiresj, for the early birthday wishes! This is going to be one amazing year.

windycindy said...

Sounds like a great story line!
I enjoyed this interview very much!
Please enter my name in your book drawing.
Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

April said...

Sounds great. Great interview. Please enter me.Blessings. AprilR
tarenn[at]yahoo[dot]com

Vicki said...

Great post! Please enter my name for the book giveaway!

lelou2(at)ymail(dot)com

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I can tell this book would pull at my heartstrings. I've been through a similar situation with my husband. I'd love to read this.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful review..please add my name to this giveaway...thanks.

karen k
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

Erin said...

Count me in please, sounds like a wonderful book!

ellybean (at) connected2christ (dot) com
http://www.connected2christ.com