Monday, 30 November 2009

Character Spotlight ~ Sandra D Bricker's Cassie & Richard

Today the spotlight shines on.......................Cassie Constantine & Richard Dillon

Sandra D Bricker has been writing for years and has eleven novels to her credit. Her latest novel, for Summerside's Love Find You series takes the reader to Holiday, Florida for an unusual and fun take on a mature love match!

Enjoy this look behind the scenes:~

Brief physical description

Cassie and Richard are 50-somethings, both of whom have been married to someone else and widowed.

Cassie is somewhat petite and very perky for her age, apple-cheeked and pretty and Richard is an avid Florida golfer, so he's suntanned and poised.

If I was casting the film, I'd put Sally Field in the role of Cassie, and Dennis Quaid as Richard.

Strengths and weaknesses

Cassie is stronger than she gives herself credit for being. She is extremely opinionated, but m
ust often face up to the fact that she deeply believes something that isn't accurate.

Richard is on the over-organized side of life. He likes things a certain way, everything in its place, and he becomes a little disoriented when life gets messy.

Quirk (if any)

"Quirky" is this book's middle name! From the wacky neighbors to Cassie's crazy dog, the whole town of Holiday is as unusual a place as you're going to find.

Your inspiration for the character

When the publisher asked me to write something set in Holiday, Florida, I was a
little disappointed when I went there for some inspiration. It's small and somewhat rural, lots of small houses set around a web of canals that lead out to the Gulf of Mexico. But in one second, my inspiration found me as I turned the corner had to pump the brakes because two elderly women in neon spandex with fanny-packs were power-walking right down the middle of the street. While I waited, I turned and saw two hysterical plastic flamingo lawn ornaments in a nearby yard. That was what I needed! I knew I had to write Holiday on a slant; not your typical setting for a romance novel!

Background to the story

The thing I love about this story is that Cassie and Richard appear to be such completely different people on the surface but, as the reader gets to know them, their similarities begin to shine. The two of them grow together in such a unique way out of a place where both of them were sort of lost "fish out of water" in the beginning.

Thanks Sandra ~ this story sounds like a lot of fun!

Come back Thursday for a spotlight from Robert Liparulo's bad guy from the Dreamhouse Kings series, Taksidian in his own words!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Sandra's website and blog

Buy Sandra's books at Amazon or Koorong

Friday, 27 November 2009

Janice Thompson ~ What's Cooking?

Most of my books are wedding themed and many people don't know this, but I make wedding cakes (and other types of celebration cakes) on the side. I don't do this for money. I started doing it when my four daughters all got married within four and a half years of each other! (We spent $500 on my oldest daughter's wedding cake and only half of it was eaten. After that day I vowed, "Never again!" and started making the cakes myself.) Readers will notice that Aunt Rosa (in the Weddings by Bella series) makes all of the cakes for the family's wedding facility. I got this idea from my own story!

One of my favorite cakes to make (recently) is called an oreo cake.
Here's how I make it.

Janice's Oreo Cake


A large round pan. I use an 11 inch pan.
Two boxes of devil's food cake mix
One box of white cake mix (I use Pillsbury, pudding in the mix)
Cream cheese frosting (homemade or from a can)
A full package of Oreos

Mix up the devil's food cake mix in one bowl and the white cake mix in another. You need to end up with a total of three cakes: two chocolate and one white. Depending on the size of your pan, you might have some left-over batter. You can always toss it or use it to bake a small cake for the kids.

When the three cakes are baked, get busy on your cream cheese frosting. Here's how I make mine from scratch: one rectangular block of Crisco shorting, one package of cream cheese, a couple of tablespoons of milk, clear vanilla flavoring. Blend these ingredients till creamy, then add powdered sugar until it is the right consistency. You don't want it too thick or too thin. When the frosting is done, crumble about 1/3 of the bag of Oreos into the frosting and mix well.

Now, to assemble the cakes. Start with a chocolate one on bottom. Add a layer of the cream cheese/oreo frosting. Now put the white cake on top of that and frost it. Then add a chocolate cake on top of that and frost the whole cake, top and sides. Apply the cream cheese frosting liberally! I usually finish the cake off by taking the remaining Oreos and pressing them all around the bottom of the cake, forming a ring around the bottom. People love the look of the cake and gobble it up at parties! Best of all, when you cut into it, it looks like an Oreo, with the white in the middle! Yum!

Sounds like a good one, Janice :) Love the story behind your wedding cakes!

Janice's Books

Love Finds You in Poetry, Texas ~ Fools Rush In ~ Swinging on a Star (2010)
Spring Creek Bride ~ Allegheny Hopes

Relz Reviewz Extras

All things Thompson @ Relz Reviewz

Visit Janice's website

Buy Janice's books at Amazon or Koorong

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Character Spotlight ~ Maggie Brendan's Josh McBride & Juliana Brady

Today the spotlight shines on Josh McBride & Juliana Brady

Maggie Brendan's second Heart of the West novel delves into the life of a sheepherder in Montana, and the young woman who catches his eye. It was interesting to read about sheep rather than cattle for a change! I hope you enjoy this look behind the scenes of this story. Over to you, Maggie:~

Brief physical description

Josh McBride is a sheepherder with a muscular build about 5' 9”. He has nice warm eyes the shade of amber with a smooth baritone voice.

Juliana Brady is a slender, young lady with long brown curly hair. She has enormous blue eyes that Josh compares to the Yogo sapphires.

I think Dale MidKiff is perfect for Josh and Zooey Deschanel is just right for Juliana.

Strengths and weaknesses

Josh has strong faith in God but lack self-esteem when it comes to Juliana and thinks he's too old for her. He struggles with trying to make it without his cattle baron father's help in sheepherding.

Juliana's has a self-determination that's strong in her ability to make it on her own, but doesn't trust men because of her past experience.

Your inspiration for the character

My inspiration for Josh came to me after travelling to Montana and reading about the Yogo sapphires. I modelled him after the sheepherder that really discovered the gems on his property.

Juliana was purely a figment of my imagination although I wanted her to have the cornflower blue eyes like the Yogo stones.

Background to the story

My story is set in 1890's Montana. Juliana is drawn to the amber eyes of a sheepherder she sees in a sketch. Once they meet, sparks fly when he considers mining for sapphires for a living. Mining lured her own father from his family.

Both of them must make a choice for their future--the riches of the world or the eternal value of love.

Thanks Maggie, for again sharing about your characters - much appreciated!

Tune in on Monday for a spotlight on Sandra D Bricker's Cassie Constantine & Richard Dillon, from Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida ~ watch out for the pink flamingos!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of No Place for A Lady and The Jewel of His Heart

Character spotlight on Crystal & Luke

Interview with Maggie

Visit Maggie's blog

Buy Maggie's books at
Amazon or Koorong

Getting to know Julie Carobini

Julie Carobini has been a favourite author of mine since reading her debut novel, Chocolate Beach. Julie imbues each of her stories with humour, grace and the sights and smells of the ocean! Be sure to check out her latest novel, Sweet Waters and the 2010 sequel, A Shore Thing, released by B&H Fiction.

Over to you, Julie:~

If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?

Julie Marie (
the name my parents gave me :)

Your first pet’s name?

Swissy (the cat)

Your best
friend’s name in primary (elementary) school?


Did you
have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe. Probably my Donny Osmond doll.

If you could meet a famous person, who would it be and why?

I'd want to meet Billy Graham and ask him dozens of questions about theology, politics and his family. His efforts for Christ have had such far reaching effects that I think I'd just like to hear him in his own voice talking about his life.

If you were
stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible of course)

A pen. I could always write my next novel on my hands and arms.

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

Jamoca Almond Fudge from Baskin Robbins

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I grew up in LA and wanted to be an actress (pretty much the dream of every other little girl in LA.) I took acting lessons and became part of the Burbank Little Theater for a while, but then realized I didn't really like being on stage all that much :)

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I'd like to go to Northern Italy where my husband's family is from, then fly down to Sicilia to visit my sister in law's relatives.

Besides God, who has influenced you the most?

My mother. She's sweet and tough. Love her.

What's your favourite book?

Tough question because I read all kinds of things, but Jan Karon's At Mitford series sticks out in my mind. I loved almost all of them and can pick one up randomly and be instantly transported to that little town of Mitford...

What part of your daily routine do you enjoy most?

My morning latte, especially when my husband Dan makes it for me

What's your favourite movie?

Sleepless in Seattle ~ such a sucker for romance. Wish they would've made a sequel, though.

What will we find you in the most – designer dress & heels, Tank top and boardies, jeans and a t-shirt?

Jeans, soft cotton blouse, flip flops--even in winter.

Where's the most interesting place you have been?

Bath, England (Jane Austen once lived there!)

What's your most fervent prayer?

For my children. Always for them.

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

Admitted sin to someone else.

What gift have you received that you will always treasure?

My marriage to Dan (ripply sigh here)

What is your favourite Bible verse (or "one" of your favourites) and what does it mean to you?

Col. 3:23 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not men..."

What was your most embarrassing moment in High School?

Not making the Drill Team. Tha
nks for causing me to relive that.

You’re visiting Australia (I can always hope!), where do you go first ~ Sydney Harbour, Great Barrier Reef or Uluru (Ayers Rock)?

Great Barrier Reef!

Favourite beach activity?

Watching my youngest daughter run amok with Charlie the Dog

How did your husband propose?

Showed up at my apartment one night after work with a bouquet of roses and a shy smile on his face. He asked me to marry him ~ then called my parents even though I was already a grown woman living on my own. Super sweet.

Please ask each of your children to describe you with one word and share!

Oh, boy. Okay, here goes:

18 year old son: Booyah! (Honestly, that's what he said.)

15 year old daughter: Animated (Her 2nd choice after I told her that 'psychotic' was unacceptable.)

11 year old daughter: Entertaining (The only one who didn't take longer than
5 minutes to come up with something, Lol)

Sweet Waters

What or whom inspired your characters?

I read the verse “Hear the word of the LORD, O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands…” (Jer. 31:10) and thought, “Hm, what if a person had to be physically moved from one
place to another in order for God to get her attention? From there, I played the ‘what-if’ game. While this story is fiction, I realized that God had done a similar thing in my own life, and that once removed from the things that kept me from him, I finally heard him clearly.

Are you most like Tara, Mel or Camille?

I can relate best to Tara because I too am the oldest child and with that spot in the birth order comes lots o
f responsibility (or at least the perception of often overwhelming responsibility ;)

You write fun stories with a serious side – how do you find the balance?

I've lived through tough times involving major illness, a broken heart and financial woes. In spite of all the yuck, God has given me the ability and desire to laug
h and I so love him for that! I think this is why I try to convey seemingly contradictory emotions onto the page. The trick, I believe, is not to downplay the serious stuff, but also to acknowledge the hope that we can find through faith in God. I think of my beachy novels as stories offering "Waves of Grace."

Please describe each of your main characters from Sweet Waters with one word

Tara: Sensible

Mel: Sarcastic
Camille: Flighty

What was your favourite scene to write?

I find birth order and sibling rivalry fascinating, so I'd have to say that my favorite scenes to write were those where the sisters 'sparred' in some way.

What do you hope readers take away from this story?

I hope Sweet Waters demonstrates that sometimes when we get what we wish for, it isn’t ‘all that’? And yet if we surrender it all to God, his plans for us are better than we could have concocted for ourselves.

A Shore Thing releases in July, 2010 ~ care to share?

The second of the Otter Bay Novels, A Shore Thing will be released in July 2010. New characters ~ same gorgeous setting. This story centers around Callie Duflay and her fight to keep a huge development from destroying the central coast—while also protecting her heart from the charming architect on the proposed project.

What is in your writing pipeline now? A sneak peek, please?

I'm having a ball writing the as-yet untitled 3rd Otter Bay Novel! It involves the famed Hearst Castle and heartbreak and restoration...can't wait for you to read it :)

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Julie ~ it's been a delight getting to know you better!

As seen at

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Sweet Waters & Chocolate Beach

Character spotlight on Tara & Josh from Sweet Waters

Visit Julie's website, blog and beach shop

Buy Julie's books at Amazon or Koorong

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Stand-In Groom by Kaye Dacus ~ Tracy's Take

Publisher’s Synopsis:

When professional wedding planner Anne Hawthorne first meets the handsome Englishman George Laurence, she wonders if God has finally answered her prayers for a husband. But when the “best man” for her turns out to be a client – and someone else’s to-have-and-to-hold – Anne quickly realises that planning his wedding will be no honeymoon. Can she remain professional while fall
ing for the groom?

A personal assistant for a wealthy man who wishes to keep his identity – and his engagement – a secret, George Laurence has come to Louisiana to plan his employer’s wedding and pose as the groom. Not only is this a challenge to the tenets of his Christian faith, but he can’t stand the fact that he’s deceiving Anne, the first woman who ever made his heart really sing. Wi
ll George ultimately risk his career to keep the woman he loves?

And what will happen when Anne finds out the groom’s true identity? Can Anne and George find a way to a happy ending, or will this “I do” ruse destroy their chance at love?

What I thought:

Kaye Dacus displays her expertise in her craft with flair in ‘Stand-in Groom’. On the surface this book may appear to be an example of predictable Christian romance. However, dig a little deeper and Kaye deftly weaves deeper values and challenges the reader to action over issues that each one of us face at some point in
our lives.

I love the way Kaye develops Anne’s character throughout the story. I also found the development of Anne and Laurence’s relationship to be nothing of the cliché I expected. Instead, Kaye has managed to construct her storyline in a way that feels entirely realistic. Anne and George encounter their fair share of communication snags throughout the story, which adds weight to what might otherwise be a light-hearted romance.

Throughout ‘Stand-in Groom’ I was challenged by Anne’s difficulty in pursuing forgiveness for the way she had been treated and I was inspired to be diligent in seeking out ways to communicate effectively with the people I love most.
‘Stand-in Groom’ highlighted, for me, the need to communicate thoroughly and with integrity that is God-honouring.

With thanks to Barbour Publishing for this review copy

Guest reviewer:~ My friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence

Relz Reviewz Extras

Character spotlight on Kaye's William Ransome & Julia Witherington from Ransome's Honor

Visit Kaye's website

Buy Kaye's books at Amazon or Koorong

Monday, 23 November 2009

Character Spotlight ~ Tracey Bateman's Nina Parker

Today the spotlight shines on.............................Nina Parker

Tracey Bateman is a multi published author, well know for her Chick Lit and romance novels. With Thirsty, Tracey turns her hand to a novel of addiction, suspense and redemption.

I hope you enjoy this insight into Nina. Over to you, Tracey:~

Brief physical description

Nina Parker: Exotic, dark skinned, almost native American-looking, but white. Dark, long, completely straight hair. Dark brown eyes, beautiful, tiny, but curvy where it matters.

Actor/famous person

Demi Moore is probably the closest, but not exactly. I see her face softer than Demi, her eyes more gentle and vulnerable. Maybe a long-haired Demi Moore from Ghost.

Strengths and weaknesses

She is fiercely loyal, loves at any cost. But that's also her weakness because she takes every criticism, every raised-eyebrow look straight to her heart and it drives her forward to good things but also destructive behaviors. She has an addictive personality and a need for approval. Struggles as a recovering alcoholic.

Quirk (if any)

This might be my first heroine ever without a quirk. 

Your inspiration for the character

Myself and a compilation of people I know with a need to please and addictive personalities.

Background to the story

Nina lost her vet business and her family because of her alcoholism. She returns to Abbey Hills to pull it all together.

The background as far as writing the story...

I decided to draw from my family addictions and parallel it to the vampire's addiction to blood.

Tracey ~ thanks for sharing about Nina and the inspiration behind this book.

On Thursday, I will be spotlighting Juliana Brady & Josh McBride from Maggie Brendan's The Jewel of His Heart. Stay tuned!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Buy Tracey's books at Amazon or Koorong

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Coming in 2010 from Zondervan

Here's a look at some of Zondervan's 2010 releases. Click on the links for more :)

Love Terri's cover - how about you?

A Promise of Hope by Amy Clipston

In A Promise of Hope, the second installment in the Kauffman Amish Bakery series, bestselling author Amy Clipston compellingly unfolds the tensions, loves, and faith of the inhabitants of an Amish community and the family bakery that serves as an anchor point for the series.
When Sarah
Troyer tragically loses her husband Peter, she is left to raise infant twins alone. Overwhelmed and grieving, she lives with her parents in the Amish community of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania. Sarah is taken completely by surprise when a stranger arrives claiming connections to Peter’s past—Peter had told her he was an orphan with no family. From Luke, she learns her husband hid a secret life, one with ramifications that will change her own. Sarah’s family, concerned for her and the future of her twins, encourages her to marry again. It should make sense … but Sarah’s heart says no. She feels trapped. Should she marry a man she doesn’t love? Or discover if her growing interest in Luke can be trusted?

Releasing April, 2010

Predator by Terri Blackstock

The murder of Krista Carmichael’s fourteen-year-old sister by an online predator has shaken her faith and made her question God’s justice and protection. Desperate to find the killer, she creates an online persona to bait the predator. But when the stalker turns his sights on her, will Krista be able to control the outcome? Ryan Adkins started the social network GrapeVyne in his college dorm and has grown it into a billion-dollar corporation. But he never expected it to become a stalking ground for online Predators. One of them lives in his town and has killed two girls and attacked a third. When Ryan meets Krista, the murders become more than a news story to him, and everything is on the line. Joining forces, he and Krista set out to stop the killer. But when hunters pursue a hunter, the tables can easily turn. Only God can protect them now.

Releasing May, 2010

Life in Defiance by Mary E. DeMuth

In a town she personifies,
Ouisie Pepper wrestles with her own defiance. Desperate to become the wife and mother her husband Hap demands, Ouisie pours over a simple book about womanhood, constantly falling short, but determined to improve. Through all that self-improvement, Ouisie carries a terrible secret: she knows who killed Daisy Chance. As her children inch closer to uncovering the killer’s identity and Hap’s rages roar louder and become increasingly violent, Ouisie has to make a decision. Will she protect her children by telling her secret? Or will Hap’s violence silence them all? Set on the backdrop of Defiance, Texas, Ouisie’s journey typifies the choices we all face—whether to tell the truth about secrets and fight for the truth or bury them forever and live with the violent consequences.

Releasing May, 2010

Take Four by Karen Kingsbury

After Chase Ryan returns to his family and a job in his hometown, his best friend and fellow filmmaker Keith Ellison pairs up with former Hollywood heartthrob Dayne
Matthews to finish following the dream—making movies that might change the world. The Above the Line series follows two best friends through three years in Hollywood as they seek to transform the culture through the power of film. In Take Four, filmmakers Keith Ellison and Dayne Matthews have finally inked a deal to have the nation’s top young actor star in their current film. But at the same time, the actor takes a very public fall that threatens his reputation among his fan base. Meanwhile, healing happens for Andi Ellison in her relationship with God, her family, and those she loves, but is it too late? The new producers find they must truly act as missionaries in order to help save the film, their families, and the young movie star. Breakthroughs take place that the public will never know about, as the possibility of saving the world through film is finally a very real possibility.

Releasing July, 2010

A Matter of Character by Robin Lee Hatcher

The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series delivers exactly what readers have been waiting for—smart, confident women who are not afraid to defy convention, live their own dreams, and share their lives if the right man comes along. In A Matter of Character, book three in the Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series, it's 1918, and Daphne McKinley, heiress to a small fortune, has found contentment in the town of Bethlehem Springs. But Daphne has a secret. A series of dime novels loosely based on local lore and featuring a nefarious villain known as Rawhide Rick has enjoyed modest popularity among readers. Nobody in Bethlehem Springs knows the man behind the stories … except Daphne. When newspaperman Joshua Crawford comes to town searching for the man who sullied the good name of his grandfather, Daphne finds herself at a crossroads, reassessing the power of her words, re-thinking how best to honor her gifts, and reconsidering what she wants out of life.

Releasing July, 2010

Deceit by Brandilyn Collins

Skip Tracer Joanne Weeks knows Baxter Jackson killed his second wife—and Joanne’s best friend—seven years ago. But Jackson, a church elder and beloved member of the town, walks the streets a free man. The police tell Joanne to leave well enough alone, but Joanne is determined to bring Jackson down. Using her skip tracing skills, she sets out to locate Melissa Harkoff, now twenty-two, who lived in the Jackson home at the time of Linda Jackson’s disappearance.
As Joanne drives home on a rainy winter night, a hooded figure darts in front of her car. In her headlight beams she glimpses the half-concealed face of a man, a rivulet of blood jagging down his cheek. She squeals to a stop but clips him with her right fender. Shaking, she gets of our her car in the pouring rain. The man will not let her see his face. Before he limps off into the night he warns her not to talk to police. As Joanne tries to find Melissa, someone seems to be after her. Who was the man she hit on the road. Is Baxter Jackson out to silence her? Or is some other skip she’s traced in the past now out for revenge?

Releasing August, 2010

Friday, 20 November 2009

Trish Perry ~ What's Cooking?

I never use a recipe to make this dish, so don’t get all retentive about these ingredients. These measurements should get the job done, but you can go over or under the line on the measuring cups and spoons without anyone being the wiser.

Chicken Stroganoff


4 T butter

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced into bite-sized pieces

¾ C fresh, sliced mushrooms

½ onion, thinly sliced

1 T flour (and maybe a bit more)

¾ C chicken broth

¼ C white cooking wine

1 t salt

½ t pepper

¾ C sour cream

Cooked rice (white or brown)

Salt and pepper to taste


Melt 2T butter in large skillet. Over medium heat, sauté cut-up chicken until just cooked through. Spoon chicken pieces in bowl and set aside.

In same skillet melt remaining 2T butter and sauté sliced mushrooms and onion until softened. Lower heat, sprinkle flour over mushrooms and onion, and blend.

Once flour is blended, slowly add broth and wine, stirring continuously. Add salt, and pepper. Bring to a quick boil and then lower heat. Allow sauce to thicken and then add chicken back in and stir to blend all the juices together. Heat until chicken is fully cooked.

If the sauce seems too thin, take a little bowl and mix a few tablespoons of the sauce with approximately 1 teaspoon of flour, adding another tablespoon of sauce until mixture is thin enough to pour into skillet. Bring to quick boil and then lower heat again and allow that to simmer until thickened.

Once sauce is thickened add sour cream and turn off heat. Mix thoroughly.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over cooked rice, along with a fresh green salad and a steamed veggie of your choice. That way you can serve cookies after, and no one will feel terribly guilty.

Love the sound of this, Trish - thanks :)

Trish's Books

The Guy I'm Not Dating ~ Too Good Too Be True ~ Beach Dreams ~ Sunset Dreams

Relz Reviewz Extras

All Things Perry @ Relz Reviewz

Buy Trish's books at Amazon or Koorong

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Character Spotlight ~ Christina Berry's Craig & Denise Littleton

Today the spotlight shines on.........Craig & Denise Littleton

I "met" Christina Berry a number of years ago, actually before I started blogging, through another very special lady and author, Donna Fleisher (hey Donna!). I have kept tabs over the years on Christina's writing and personal journey and I'm am so thrilled she is now published and appearing on my blog :)

Be sure to check out The Familiar Stranger next time you are in the bookstore ~ it is garnering some stellar reviews!

Over to you, Christina:~

Brief physical description

Craig Littleton is a blue-eyed, fit forty-six-year old with most of his brown hair sticking around.

Denise, his wife, is a hazel-eyed,
fake honey-blond mother of two who enjoys her affluent lifestyle. (Ah, but all that is about to change ...)

Actor/famous person

Christina Applegate comes pretty close to the way I picture Denise, but I'd like to add a few years. Same with Christian Bale as Craig. Wouldn't they be great in a movie together, though?

Strengths and weaknesses

Craig's strengths are his charisma and ability to provide for his family, but weaknesses for other women and a huge amount of pride threaten his fami

Denise struggles with self-worth and setting boundaries, but as the book progresses, she discovers she's capable of far more than she thought. Her greatest strength is her willingness to listen to the Lord.

Quirk (if any)

Craig, being a dentist, always notices people's teeth.

Wave a Krispy Kreme donut in front of Denise's face, and you'll probably see some quirky behavior. Oh, and she loves to clean!

Your inspiration for the character

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. Howe
ver, 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 people to Live Transparently--Forgive Extravagantly!

Background to the story

I had been looking for a fictional vehicle to share what I had learned about forgiveness. Then, in the summer of 2006, two stories appeared in the American newspapers. 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.

Christina - yippee, you are a published author! Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing about your characters and personal journey. Hugs!

Stay tuned as on Monday, I will be spotlighting Tracey Bateman's Nina Pa
rker from her recently released suspense novel, Thirsty.

Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Christina's website and blog

Buy Christina's book at Amazon or Koorong

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