Merry Christmas

Christmas. It’s my favorite time of year. And my favorite type of story to write involves Christmas. That’s a good thing this year since I worked on quite a few projects with Christmas themes. One was an episode of CBN’s Superbook, a Bible series for kids. I wrote what will be their 2016 Christmas episode.

The other was a script, then a novella called O Little Town of Bethany. This story is near to my heart as it captures the life of a girl who needed to figure out how to live a life worth remembering. Making memories is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season. Traditions within my family drives my excitement this time of year. And the older lady in the story, Bethany, is losing her memory. I can’t imagine what I would be like to one day not remember it’s Christmas. These were themes that excited me in creating this story in script form first. Then I teamed up with my favorite novelist on the novella, Rene Gutteridge. We hope this story will become a Christmas tradition and encourage families to build traditions together.

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O Little Town of Bethany: inspirational holiday romance (Hometown Romance) (KINDLE)

Synopsis:

Holly left her unhappy life behind, hoping for a Christmas miracle…

Everything about Holly Truesdale’s existence is, well…forgettable. The only good memory of her childhood is their family Christmas in the quaint town of Bethany. Tired of the high society life, Holly leaves the big city, longing to recover the sense of belonging she felt in the Victorian town. She opens a scrapbooking store, ready to help others preserve the important moments she missed as a child.

Holly is drawn to Liam, the widower who runs the B&B next door, but doesn’t fully trust herself in a new relationship. As Holly and Liam grow closer, Holly becomes concerned for the town matriarch, Miss Bethany. But even as Yuletide celebrations are in full swing, Holly and Liam can’t help but notice that Miss Bethany harbors a secret. One that could change Christmas in Bethany forever…

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BOOK REVIEW: Song of Springhill by Cheryl McKay

Here’s a new review of Song of Springhill by author Janice L. Dick.

Janice L. Dick

Song of SpringhillSong of Springhill is a historical romance, a work of fiction built around a true story that will touch your heart and soul. In 1956, in the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia, Canada, an explosion killed 39 coal miners. One man in particular, Charles Hugh McKay, survived because he had changed shifts with another miner. Author Cheryl McKay is the granddaughter of this man, who also survived the Bump (underground earthquake) of 1958, which killed 75 men. With her connections and encouragement from her father, Cheryl researched the Springhill Mining Disasters and wrote this novel. An accomplished author, screenwriter and producer (see my interview with Cheryl on last week’s blog), Cheryl brought together the details and formed them into a beautiful love story.

Being Canadian, I had heard of the Springhill Mining Disasters, but reading this fictionalized account brought the events close to my heart. These were real people who…

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Soul Inspirationz

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For the month of January, the website called Soul Inspirationz, which celebrates Christian authors and fiction, has decided to feature Rene Gutteridge and me as featured authors.

If you’d like to read more about our writing careers and lives, visit the following links:

Featured Author–Rene Gutteridge

Featured Author–Screenwriter/Novelist Cheryl McKay

Greetings from the Flipside

Greeting Cover

SYNOPSIS

Hope Landon has been rewriting other people’s greeting cards since she was six years old — there’s always a funnier caption. She’s all set to chase those creative dreams with her musician fiance in New York City until he leaves Hope at the altar, deciding he must not really love this girl if he can’t write a song for her. That may give her something to write about.

Hope disappears alone on what was supposed to be the couple’s month-long honeymoon. Upon returning she learns of her funeral — everyone in her life concluded Hope must have killed herself after being jilted. Needing a fresh start more than ever, she heads for the Big Apple only to discover it’s not that easy to rent a place when you’ve been declared dead.

Taking shelter at the YMCA, Hope soon lands a job at a Christian inspirational greeting card company as an assistant to Jake, a guy who shut down his organization’s humor department. She has lost her faith in love; he needs to find something or someone that will make him laugh again.

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Greetings from the Flipside will stretch your imagination and lead you on a journey with our lead character, Hope Landon, much like It’s a Wonderful Life did many years ago with George Bailey. As you step into Hope’s shoes, perhaps you’ll laugh, cry, and find hope with her to live a full life and chase after your set-aside dreams–and if you’re looking for it, maybe find true love. For anyone who’s read our prior work, Never the Bride, you know we like to think outside-the-box with our romantic comedies. Are you ready to suspend your disbelief and journey with us to the Flipside?

THE THEMES

If I were to sum up what this book means to me, at its heart, it’s about having hope in the midst of trials and to believe that life will get better again. It’s about how God can “Romans 8:28” anything in your life. (Yes–that’s a verb now!) He’s able to take those bad circumstances and turn them around for your good. What I love about Hope Landon’s character is she is a fighter, no matter how many bad things happen to her. But she’s honest about it; she doesn’t sugar coat pain.

Have you ever gone through something emotionally painful and had someone pat you on the knee and say in that empty way, “Things will get better”? They think they are being comforting while your temptation may be to strangle them. Hope Landon likes to keep it real. But the irony is… she’s a little challenged to know what’s real and what isn’t in her world. Sometimes her life feels like a bad dream. Yet even bad dreams have a way of waking us up to what truly matters in life. Sometimes, they’re not actually bad but have a chance to show us that what we wanted wasn’t what was best for us after all. They can even point us in the right direction. I know for me, many times, I’ve had dreams that helped me heal from painful circumstances or helped encourage me toward a better place in life.

If any of these themes resonate with you, we hope you’ll check out our story.

THE BACKSTORY

Rene Gutteridge and I have been so privileged to work together in such a special and unique way. It started after I wrote The Ultimate Gift as a film, when she was hired to write a novelization of my script. After that, we teamed up on Never the Bride, a romantic comedy I had written as a script. We have an amazing working relationship and truly help each other to become better writers.

Our new project, Greetings from the Flipside, started when I was a writing fellow in a program called Art Within. We had to pitch about 50 ideas to the company before they settled on the one I would write into a script for the fellowship. The first germ of this idea started with just four words: “Christian Greeting Card Company.” They asked me to develop a romantic comedy for that setting. That was in 2007. And here we are, six years later, watching the release of the novelized version of that same story. You never know how long it will take to see something from its beginning stages grow to some kind of fruition (whether that is a book or a movie).

I had a lot of fun building a Pinterest board, sharing some of the locations I had in mind when writing the script. If you’d like to know what to picture as you read the novel, feel free to check it out:

Greetings from the Flipside Pinterest Board

One of the most fun days for a writer is when that first official copy shows up on your doorstep. After months or years of labor, you get to see the final product.

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We’d love to hear from you! Rene and I have a joint page on Facebook. Look us up under Cheryl McKay & Rene Gutteridge or scroll down and like us from this page on the right.

Special thanks to B&H Publishing, who believed in us and our story.

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The book is now available from many book retailers:

Greetings from the Flipside B&H Publishing

Greetings from the Flipside Christian Book Distributors

Greetings from the Flipside Amazon

Greetings from the Flipside Books-a-Million

On the link to Barnes & Noble, you will need to type in the title:

Search for Greetings from the Flipside at Barnes & Noble

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Hope for Singles Waiting to Find Love

Finally One

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Are you frustrated with being single? Have you been wondering where God is in the midst of your life and its seemingly missing “love story?” So was I. For almost 39 years of my life. I tried to pen what that love life should look like (with my purple pen, in my journals. Ten, twenty. Okay, maybe more like thirty journals worth?) But seriously what I penned was no where near my reality.

So I turned my pen over to another outlet. One in which I vent my frustrations, my questions, prayers, and cries out to God. I turned it into a book, Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting.  Now, it’s available in audio form.

One of my  most popular blogs has been:

16 Ways to Pray for Your Future Husband

So I know there are a lot of people out there waiting, searching, wondering what God is…

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The Book Club Network – Interview with Nora St.Laurent

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Today, I’m featuring a guest blogger’s interview with Nora St. Laurent, a woman I got to know back when Never the Bride first came out. She held a book club going through that novel and has since been a big … Continue reading

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Another Review of Finally the Bride

Review by Mimi @Woven by Words About the Book: From the woman behind the screenplay and novel, Never the Bride, comes a roller coaster of a love story with God. Cheryl McKay pulls no punches about what it’s really like to … Continue reading

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Book Review: Shameless Self-Promotion

Book Review: Shameless Self-Promotion and Networking for Christian Creatives (Paula K. Parker, Mike Parker, & Torry Martin) Review by: Cheryl McKay “Everyone has a story… Not everyone knows how to tell their story well.” Do you want to know how … Continue reading

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A Review of Finally the Bride

Reposted from: Shannon McDermott/ Christian Author Website (www.shannonmcdermott.com) Missing: My husband. He’s tall. He’s dark. He’s handsome. I think. Actually, I don’t know. I may not have met him yet. He could be a short, balding blond with a dimpled … Continue reading