Friday, July 12, 2013

A Warm Welcome to Sherrie Ashcroft and Christina Berry Tarabochia

It's so nice to have this writer's duo with us today! Enjoy their interview:
Is there a story behind your book On the Threshold?
There wasn’t any particular event that made us decide to write this story. Rather, we simply thought, “Hey, we’ve always wanted to write—maybe we should write together!” Then we began asking each other “what if” questions. What if a mother and her grown daughter looked at life from different points of view? What if tragedy struck both of them? How would their differing belief systems show up in the way they handled sorrow? The story took on a life of its own from there.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Christina—I have five kids. We’re a blended family of two incoming freshmen, two 7th graders, and a 2nd grader. Fieldtrips, grocery shopping, homework help, and sports practices or games are my time stealers. When I do have time alone in the house to work, there is always email to catch up on, Facebook to check (I know, I know!), and bills to pay. I’m blessed to have such great kids and a husband who fully supports my dream, but it seems like, at this stage, life is made of more distractions than not.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Sherrie—I’m not sure this is exactly quirky, but it was pretty funny when I knew my sister was waiting outside the restaurant bahroom door for me to finish so she could come in and do her business. I decided to take a toilet seat cover and stick my head through the opening so my face was framed by the paper, giving me a resemblance to Little Bo Peep. I opened the door to surprise my sister and was stunned to find she had left and a complete stranger had taken her place! Little Bo Peep had a red face that day!

LOL. Glad it was you instead of me, altho I can see me . . . nevermind. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
Christina—I love to read anything that is well written. I used to day, “Oh, I don’t like that genre,” but along would come a book that I ended up loving. For example, I hardly ever read Amish stories. Then I picked up Leslie Gould’s Courting Cate and Adoring Addie. They are Amish retellings of The Taming of the Shrew and Romeo and Juliet. Fascinatingly entertaining! I used to say I didn’t like novellas. Then I read Camille Eide’s Savannah’s Gift. Great story! I’ve learned that a good story is all it takes to make me a fan.

What is your strangest habit?
Sherrie—As if the previous question didn’t reveal enough of my personality!! In answer to this question, I love to write out lists of things I need to accomplish every day so I can get the satisfaction of crossing it off. If I do something that wasn’t on my list, I often write it on and immediately cross it off. Maybe a tad OCD?

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
Sherrie—I’m not sure if it’s a gift or a curse, but I see humor in lots of mundane situations. Organic humor makes me laugh out loud much more than the funny papers do. And, of course, things grandkids say when they’re young can really crack me up.

Christina—Mom’s got it. More often than not it’s the crazy things that come out of one of my kids’ mouths. I also love witty quips.

What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
Sherrie—We live on 15 wooded acres in Western Oregon. I look out my living room/kitchen windows to see a wealth of fir trees hugging the tall hills. Having lived in the dryness of Nevada and Eastern Oregon in the past, as well as in Nigeria, seeing this greenery every day makes me feel like I’m at church camp. I love it when tendrils of fog creep down the sides of the hills. Yes, we get a lot of rain, but it’s worth it to live in such beautiful scenery.

Christina—Since I’ve lived in all those same places Mom mentioned, I must agree that this desert-raised girl LOVES the green. Even driving home from taking the kids to school, I thank God for the large pines and cherry blossoms and wild poppies.


Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Sherrie—Yes, you have no idea how many times I’ve put off answering this question! Seriously, there are times I have to give myself little pep talks to make myself do certain tasks. But that’s where the to-do list comes in handy. Instant gratification when I strike through a task.

Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
Sherrie—Just before the attacks on 9/11 my husband and I spent three wonderful weeks on our own in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. We stayed in B&Bs, often in places where the people didn’t speak much English. John dredged up remnants of one semester of college German and managed to get us by. I just stood beside him and smiled and tried to look pleasant. It was the trip of a lifetime, though I’d love to go again.


Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
Christina—My award-winning debut novel, The Familiar Stranger, came from what I learned about forgiving my first husband’s unfaithfulness. My motto for years had been Live Transparently—Forgive Extravagantly! Not until after we started reading reviews of On the Threshold did I realize that the same themes are present in it. J I have a feeling everything I write will end up showing that forgiveness is a gift God allows us to give and to receive.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?On the Threshold ends in a satisfying way, but there is still a lot to share about the three main characters. We plan to write their story this summer and hopefully get it out to our readers by the end of the year.

To buy the book, go here:

Coolest spot to print your own copy in less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee is the Espresso Book Machine. Truly hot off the press:

Or email Christina [at] ashberrylane [dot] net and we can tell you how to get an autographed copy sent anywhere in the US.

Author Bio: Mother/daughter writing team Sherrie Ashcraft and Christina Berry Tarabochia bring a voice of authenticity to this novel as they have experienced some of the same issues faced by these characters. They like to say they were separated at birth but share one brain, which allows them to write in a seamless stream. Both live in NW Oregon, love spending time together, and were on a winning Family Feud team.

Sherrie is the Women's Ministry Director at her church, and loves being the grandma of eight and great-grandma of one. Christina is also the author of The Familiar Stranger, a Christy finalist and Carol Award winner, and runs a thriving editing business

Connect with Sherry and Christina:

Christina and Sherry are giving away a copy of On the Threshold. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post).

Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown


cjajsmommy said...

"Forgive Extravagantly" -- Wow, what a concept! I'm going to ponder that for a bit. Any way, please enter my name to win a copy of your book "On the Threshold." Reading a book with the theme of forgiveness is always a good thing! djragno (at) hotmail (dot) com

Patricia Bradley said...

Loved this book! pat at ptbradley dot com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

sm said...

I like the idea of a mother/daughter writing team and would love to win your book. sharon, ca

Judy said...

I too would love to read this book!

How neat that a mother and daughter is authoring this book. Love it!

Judy B

Teela said...

Love Mom-daughter writing teams. My daughter is a writer, but I'm fairly certain she does not want my advise or input, LOL! Would really like to read (and yep...WIN) your book. Thanks for sharing a bit of your lives with us. teelayoung<@>hotmail<.>com

Veronica Sternberg said...

That must be fun to work together! Book sounds great! shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

Janet K Brown said...

I love women's fiction. This sounds good. Yes, Christina, that sounds quirky to me. Love that a mother & daughter can write together. Put me down a chance to win.

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