Franken Berry ROCKS! Sharing the wealth ;o)

Yes. THAT Franken Berry. I grew up in a magical world where sugary cereal wasn’t unhealthy and letting your kids eat an artificially colored cold breakfast wasn’t a call for DEFAX and strawberry goodness was a princess surprise every morning that my General Mills employed father could produce a box of this delicacy on our kitchen table…


So when writing my first mainstream women’s fiction/contemporary romance, when I needed a way for a wounded woman to reach out to and connect with a hurting little girl who doesn’t think anyone understands what it’s like to be her, Fraken Berry became the first  pink, magical link between them. Sometimes it can be such a simple thing, a different kind of listening and understanding, that makes all the difference in the world. Christmas on Mimosa Lane is full of tiny windows like this. Connections where lives meet and deepen and share and maybe come undone just a bit more, so they can expand together and become more than they’ll ever be alone…

“Franken Berry?” Mallory blurted out, not above bribery. “When I was your age, it felt like Christmas morning every time I ate it. Strawberry flavoring and refined sugar and bleached corn flour…Crunch and sweetness that will make your back teeth smile.” And it could only be special-ordered from the manufacturer’s website a few months out of the year, since most stores no longer carried it. But for Polly, Mallory would break into her secret stash. “Ever had any?”

Polly shook her head. “My dad says healthy food only. I need to eat healthy to stay healthy.”

She stepped closer, and Mallory considered grabbing her. Except grabbing at kids who were hell-bent on running only made them more certain that they’d never be safe.

“Well there’s not a redeeming, healthy thing about Franken Berry,” she said, “no matter what the packaging says. In my book that makes it heaven in a bowl.”

The child was underweight. Eating anything sounded healthy enough to Mallory. As Polly’s nurse she knew there were no food allergies or preexisting medical conditions to be concerned about. And in the moon’s reflection Polly’s eyes were glittering at Mallory’s description of the decadent treat.

“Let’s live dangerously.” Mallory shrugged off her robe and draped it over the little girl’s shoulders. Then, catching a chill in only her matching flannel PJs, she led the way to the kitchen, turning on lights as she went. She checked once to make certain she was being followed.

Polly’s slippered feet skidded to a halt inside the door. She blinked at Mallory’s retro-looking, circa 1950s, pink and blue and green appliances. They were one of the few splurges, besides her Christmas tree, that Mallory had indulged in when she’d furnished the place. An early Christmas present, she’d rationalized. Actually, Christmas and Valentine’s Day and her birthday and maybe Christmas again. But the hit to her budget had been worth it. This room made her heart sing…

This is the early scene where my agent first fell in love with my book, I think. We share a craving for Franken Berry, you see, and for lost kids and emotionally wrenching writing. It’s also the scene in my very first draft where I realized I’d be writing a different, deeper, bigger book than I’d ever written before. Just gonig a little more interior and more honest and more real with my fiction than I had in a long, long time.

To celebrate this liberating moment and all things pink and sugary (and the October 23rd launch of Christmas on Mimosa Lane), I’m sharing the above mother load of General Mills Halloween-inspired cereals (yes, I know it’s not appropriate for a Christmas book, but Boo Berry and Count Chocula? Come on!) as well as a $20 Amazon Gift Certificate (yes, I’m a Montlake Author, so we’re going to be doing Amazon giveaways from now on… ;o) with some lucky blog commenters.

So, share your favorite childhood cereal (or adult cereal) memory in the comments for your chance to win. I’ll draw random winners the week of Halloween!



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

90 Responses to “Franken Berry ROCKS! Sharing the wealth ;o)”

  1. KimberleyC says:

    Ok I loved shredded wheat back when they were in large biscuit form…you had to break it up to eat it.Momma would put warm milk and sugar…yum….Also loved Fruit Loops!

    Favorite cereal moment..couple of months ago watching my 2 year old grandson eating Lucky Charms (dry)…he picked out the marshmellows just like his mama did…such excitement and joy!

  2. Robin in NC says:

    It’s got to be making Rice Krispy Treats with my son, then many, many years later making them with my grandson! “Cooking” with kids is so much fun…their excitement & enthusiasm is contagious!!

  3. peggy c. says:

    Growning up in my foster home we were all given corn flakes of course the cheapest at the time i liked sugar pops and trix my fav as all the colors and the rabbit was so funny

  4. Sherry H says:

    I loved Count Chocula & Kaboom!

  5. Earlene Gillespie says:

    I was a big fan of Total and Wheaties. Is that dating me or what, they didn’t have those cereals when i was little. My next fav was capt. crunch, when they added the crunch berries i was in heaven.

  6. Jennifer McCambridge says:

    As a kid when we went camping or traveled across country in the camper we had the small boxed of ceareal. I loved honey smacks (sp) the one with the frong on it. My 2nd fav was lucky charms.

  7. Katrina Wreggelsworth says:

    My favorite was Apple Jacks. Mom would hardly by it! But when it magically appeared in the cupboard, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Just after I had my tonsils out, was one of those times and my mom still tells the story of how I let the cereal get soggy just so I could swallow it because I could not wait till I was better.
    I know I am going to have to read this book just on this seen alone. Only 4 more days………

  8. Sandra M says:

    My favorite was always Fruitie Pebbles or Trix (loved the rabbit). I still have a bowl now and again. My 11 year old son won’t touch the stuff though! His favorites are Special K & Shredded Wheat!

  9. Mel K. says:

    I liked Lucky Charms, Cpt. Crunch, Fruit Loops, and Honeycomb. OK, now I’m singing the theme song for the latter. lol! Presently I’m eating Cheerios. But if I want a trip down memory lane I love Peanut Butter Capt. Crunch. :-)

  10. Sunnymay says:

    Rice Crispy Treats with mini M&M’s are fun for kids of all sizes.

  11. Sandy L says:

    I have to say warm cream of wheat with strawberries. I loved that as a little girl growing up. Especially in the cold winters. Just smelling it brings back vivid childhood memories.

  12. Ellie W says:

    I have always loved Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch and it’s still my favorite. My husband will say “aren’t you ashamed to still be eating kid’s cereal?” and of course I’m not.

  13. Victoria k says:

    I love these cereals. It brings me back to memory lane!! Count chocula rules! Nn

  14. Ron Miller says:

    Reading the back of cereal boxes was a hobby almost, some of the stuff in the boxes was the shiznit

  15. Estela S says:

    I’ve allways loved Cap’n Crunch, except that it tears apart the roof of your mouth!!

  16. sandra says:

    i love bowls of honey kix

  17. Barbara R. says:

    My favorite childhood cereal memory, is on a cold morning waking up to the delightful aroma of homemade steel cut oatmeal. It had a way of getting me out of bed. I knew what was to follow.. a bowl of oatmeal, milk, with nuts, blueberries, banana and a drizzle of Vermont maple syrup. What a great way to start the day.

  18. Wilma Frana says:

    I’ve always loved Corn Flakes and Cheerios. I’m old now and i still eat them.

  19. Kendra says:

    I always loved Captain Crunch. We only got it as an occasional treat. I did not like eating it with milk, so I would pour it into the bowl, and then just crunch through the dry cereal. Yummy. Once every couple of years I will go and get a box and savory the memory.

  20. Deb says:

    It was either Corn Flakes or Wheaties. We weren’t given a choice other than those two. They were good though and we never put up a fuss.

  21. Hi,
    I love rice crispy treats! Rarely do that make it to the pan to cool though.
    My favorite to eat is Lucky Charms of course. That has been around forever.
    No real special moments eating cereal, but my daughter goes to college and they have this little bakery there that makes huge delicious rice crispy treats. When she comes home she always has a couple just for me. I think that is pretty special. It does ease the empty nest a bit.

  22. Vickie Couturier says:

    As a kid I liked fruity pebbles

  23. Rosemary K. says:

    My children loved Fruit Brute. It was a sugary treat of raspberry cereal with lime marshmallows. Franken Berry lasted but Fruit Brute did not.

  24. Mary M. says:

    When I was a child we did not have cereal very often, but when we did my favorite was Kellogs’ Sugar Pops.

  25. Christine burd says:

    I liked shredded wheat with hot milk

  26. Ron L. says:

    Lucky Charms

  27. tracey byram says:

    I remember in 1974 going to the grocery store with $2 and getting a gallon of milk and a box of cereal and coming home with change. I always picked Apple Jacks when it was my turn to choose.

  28. Vicki Wurgler says:

    childhood cereal would have been Fruit Loops now I eat mini wheats

  29. librarypat says:

    Hot Cream of Wheat on cold winter mornings was wonderful. Pour on some cream and brown sugar and you had the best breakfast ever.

  30. mary branham says:

    I am 65 and still love sugar crisp. No matter how old you get you still have the kid inside.

  31. Cheryl English says:

    I can’t pick a favorite because here is my list of cereals I love. Sugar Smacks, Cocoa Puffs,Quake,Fraken Berry, Alpha Bits,Frosted Flakes,Buc Wheats, Sugar Pops,Cap’n Crunch,Puffa Rice,Trix, Lucky Charms,Raisin Bran,Fruity Pebbles,Honey Comb,Fruit Loops,Kaboom, Apple Jacks. Ok, I’ll pick as my all time favorite Sugar Smacks.

  32. Heidi Daniel says:

    I think my all time favorite cereal is Cracklin’ Oat Bran, but I still love to eat Lucky Charms, Booberry, Frankenberry, Peanut Butter Captain Crunch, and Cookie Crisp.

  33. sheila says:

    I’m more of a fan of hot cereal, but like my cold cereal without a sugar coating.

  34. Jane Squires says:

    My favorite cereal was frosted flakes because it was the only sugared one available.

  35. BethR says:

    Favorite cereal rice chex not very exciting

  36. Ginny Lynn says:

    I love BooBerry cereal and my mom would sneak me a box every October. My dad was not into Halloween or name brand cereals so mama made sure that I got at least 1 box for myself. My teenage son heard about it and got me a box 2 wks ago. B-)

  37. Susan Frank says:

    Hard to say which was my favorite when I was a kid but Captain Crunch sticks in my mind.

    My favorite cereal memory involves my daughter. Many years ago, when she was a toddler, she was sitting on my dad’s lap at breakfast time. He had poured some Lucky Charms into a small bowl for her. She sat there and ate all the marshmallows but left the rest, looked at my dad and said “More!” He told her she needed to eat the crunchies too. She wrinkled up her nose, shook her head “No crunchies. More!” Of course, being a granddad, he gave her more… We still tease her about eating “the crunchies”.

  38. Amy S. says:

    Who won?

  39. Vicki H says:

    I eat dry cocoa puffs by the handfuls, lol.

Leave a Reply