Blog Tour for The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry

All aboard for the last stop on Christina Berry’s two-month long blog tour for her outstanding debut novel, The Familiar Stranger. I am giving away the copy I purchased of the book to anyone with a US address who leaves a comment on any of my posts during the month of October, and Christina is doing a drawing as soon as her last two bloggers post within the next few days for 10 winners who comment on her blog tour stops this whole month, so by leaving a comment on this post you will have double the chances to win a copy. Make sure you leave your email addy so Christina or I can contact you if you are one of the lucky winners!

Christina and I first met online through American Christian Fiction Writers. Then I signed up for the “infrequent, humorous newsletter” she co-authors with her mom. You can sign up, too, and check out back issues at and by signing up you will be entered in a drawing for lots of neat prizes like a copy of every book Christina ever publishes! In one of her newsletters she did a giveaway for a free short edit of a manuscript, so I entered that and won! After seeing the great advice I got from the free edit, I paid her to critique the rest of my manuscript. A very good gift to myself, as her crit helped me to get my story in shape to soon submit. She is an excellent editor, so check out her site at for info about that service. Well worth the money.

Christina and I finally met in person at the recent ACFW conference in Denver, CO. In fact, I rode the shuttle to the hotel with her and her mom and several other conference attendees. Then the two of them and I were meal greeters at one of our evening meals, so shared some more time together and even ate a couple other meals together, too. The picture I am posting is of me and Christina at conference all dressed up for the awards banquet. She’s the young, pretty, skinny one!

I left a post on Oct. 1st with her bio and a short blurb of the book that you can check out for more book info, so I wanted to ask her some different questions here today.

Thanks for visiting, Christina. I hope you get some well-deserved rest after this looong tour! Since I am a writer also, I was wondering what kind of planning you do before writing a novel?

My previous writing has been heavily plotted and I’ve known almost everything about the characters before diving into the story. Writing with a co-author, Mom and I both need to know exactly how a character looked and his or her history. We wrote out each scene’s main plot point and point of view character on index cards and posted them on a large corkboard. We also found catalogue models that looked like our characters, made collages of the pictures, and slipped our character interview in the back of the plastic sleeves.

With The Familiar Stranger, the first scene came to me like a movie. Once the first chapter was written, I took a few hours to write down how I saw the story progressing. Then I numbered each main point and called it a chapter. All told, I had just over one page of plotting. To keep everything straight, I made notes about the characters as I went along. A very different experience to write by the seat of my pants, but I’m working through my current book in the same way.

Can you tell us a little bit about your personal life?

Though the plot of The Familiar Stranger came from news stories, I’d been looking for a fictional vehicle to express the lessons I’d learned regarding forgiveness in my own marriage. I knew no one was interested in reading my particular story, but I still felt God had given me something to say. My husband and I worked through a major issue six years ago and found a vibrant, completely renewed marriage on the other side.

However, seven months ago, that same issue broke our bond. Now as a newly-single woman, I’m in the midst of promoting a book that touches far closer to home than I would have ever dreamed. If no one else ever reads it, I’ve been convicted and encouraged by my own words. If that isn’t a gracious God at work, I don’t know what is!

Rose here again: If you don’t win in the book drawings or if you want additional copies for gifts, here are two links:

You can also have any bookstore order copies for you if they don’t have any in stock. Happy reading!

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5 Responses to

  1. Diana says:

    sounds like a great book! It’s nice of you to give away your copy.

  2. arhyalon says:


    Dropped by to visit!


  3. JoAnn says:

    I’d like to read Familiar Stranger. I met Christine and her mom also at the Denver conference. Rose and I had a meal with her. Thank you, Rose, for the drawing.

  4. Deborah M says:

    What a wonderful testimony. I’ve heard so much about this book, but now that I’ve heard the story behind it I want to read it more than ever. Please sign me up for the contest.
    Deborah M.

  5. Hello Rose and Christina!

    I got to hear all about THE FAMILIAR STRANGER from Christina at one of the luncheons at the ACFW conference. The book sounds fabulous!

    Christina — I love your enthusiasm and your positive energy . I wish you a galaxy of success.

    Big hugs to you and your mom!………..Margie

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