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…

Love’s a Stage: a novel

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Today marks the release of one of two novels coming out this fall as part of my partnership with Rene Gutteridge and now Redbud press. Both are based on my screenplays. This first one is called Love’s a Stage. After I got married, I started to notice a lot of marriages around us crumbling. I wanted to explore themes of what it means to keep vows and how to make marriage last. My quirky, yet good-hearted lead character may go through great (and often comical) lengths to save a marriage while also learning along the way what it takes to make a marriage work and to find a lasting true love.

Hope you enjoy the read and to one day bring you the feature film version:

Love’s a Stage (Hometown Romance) (KINDLE)

SYNOPSIS for Love’s a Stage:

Grad student and future marriage counselor Aly Brewster had a perfect childhood with perfect parents. Now she’s heading into her own perfect life: Finish her Master’s. Build a successful practice. Husband at twenty-six. But when her parents blindside her with the news they’re getting divorced, her perfect world shatters.

Actor Nick Armstrong has been in love with Aly since they met during freshman year. He’s happy to accept his assigned place in her Friend Zone because it lets him be close to her. But it’s been over five years—time to move on. Then the usually-unflappable Aly comes to him begging for help to save her parents’ marriage. Nick has the perfect plan: fake an engagement to each other to inspire her parents to fight to save their marriage. And who knows? It might trigger Aly’s feelings for him. But when Aly takes the ruse to the next level—planning a wedding in her parents’ backyard and hiring additional actors to play his family—enough is enough!

As the lines between acting and reality grow decidedly blurred, these two improvised fiancés must decide: are they going to finish the play…or exit stage right. Alone.

* * *

Later this fall, our other novella will be out. We participated in a book of novellas called The Boy Next Door, where all the authors wrote different love stories about falling for the boy next door. The one Rene Gutteridge and I wrote is called O Little Town of Bethany.

We’ll let ya know when it’s out.

Both projects have scripts available for production.

Here’s a sneak peek at the cover:

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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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16 Ways to Pray for Your Future Husband

Here’s a new blog I just posted on our other website, finallyone.com.

Finally One

16 Ways to Pray If anyone knows what’s it’s like to wait to find love and marriage, it’s me. I waited 39 long years of life to walk down the aisle. Trusting God during the long wait was sometimes extremely difficult. Some days, all I could do was pray. I started to realize that “all I could do” was actually quite significant. I found out later how God-led my prayers actually were, once God revealed to me who I was going to marry and what he was going through in his life when I chose to pray certain things. My prayers mattered; my prayers paid off. When waiting to find a husband and get married, it can seem like you are helpless and “doing nothing.” One of the best things to do while waiting is to pray for your future husband. To follow are 16 prayer points that you can focus on during your…

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Finally Fearless: Journey from Panic to Peace


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To watch the Finally Fearless Video:

Some of you who know me, know that I have been working on this next book for a very long time. Some of you know of it as my “autobiography” about fear and knew that Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting was only a small part of my life, that book I was writing while bored and waiting for God to finally bless me with a husband.

Those who’ve known me for the past ten or so years of my life may have no idea this part of my life ever existed.  I was struck recently by reactions when my mother and my husband read the book.  Both of them had a very similar response. My mother asked, “How is it that I never knew my own daughter?” And my husband said when he read this book, while he knew it was mine, it’s not who he’s married to now. He was very thankful that God healed me so abundantly. When you read my story, you will understand fully why my healing and freedom from fear were necessary for me to walk down the aisle and marry the most wonderful man God gave me. I often pondered the thought about how what I longed for I feared the most. And that fear kept me away from men and relationships for a long time. There were years I thought I’d never be able to get married because of it.

Praise God, I was able to heal, face my fears, and win the battle over anxiety in this area of my life.

I understand why my mom and husband reacted this way.  Even when I step back and read my book, it’s like reading about a stranger. This is so much due to the fact that God healed me so well, that the person I was for over 20 years of my life seems like she doesn’t exist anymore.

That person barred by the jail cell of extreme fear.

I’m glad my newer friends didn’t have to get to know this other part of me. I’m glad I am no longer acquainted with who I was, even though what I went through is a very real part of my history. It no doubt has an effect on who I am today.  Sadly, I know many people relate to me and the journey I share in Finally Fearless: Journey from Panic to Peace. I wish more people didn’t have to. But it’s a very common problem people face, and I am tired of the silence that keeps people locked up in their fears.

It’s why I had to release this story, no matter how much vulnerability it called for. I knew back in 2001 that one day, like it or not, I would write it, and then be compelled to release this book.

That time has finally come.

Here’s the blurb from the back cover that shares my heart and why I wrote this book:  (You can click on the links below and order the paperback and workbook or kindle version on Amazon.)

“This is one courageous book. In her bravest turn yet, Cheryl McKay dives into the storm-tossed depths of suffocating anxiety. This unflinchingly honest account is the personal hand of experience…guiding all who would read to still waters.”

Susan Rohrer, author THE HOLY SPIRIT: Amazing Power for Everyday People

From Cheryl’s Journal:

Why am I like this? What is wrong with me?  Why am I so afraid? I can’t control my anxiety; these fears seem to overtake me. Does anyone know how I feel? No one else has this problem. I am a freak, and I am alone. Where is God in this?

Do fear and anxiety rule your life?

They used to rule mine.

This is the book I was too afraid to write and definitely too afraid to publish. That would mean others could read some of my most private thoughts, pieces of my most difficult and painful journey. Most of my life, I put on a good face, that “life is perfect” façade. It was a sham. Then I realized I had to face my problems, my past, and my fears if I ever wanted to live a normal, healthy life. In writing this book, I decided to join the imperfect human race. I wrote it because I needed to heal.

Maybe you need to heal, too.

Through writing about my story of panic, fear, and seemingly irrational anxieties, I uncovered so much about panic and anxiety disorders, coping techniques, causes of anxiety and fear, soul-searching activities to help unearth the root of anxiety problems, and methods that can bring about healing. After many years of stagnancy, I found hope. God walked me through every step to help me find ways to grow, heal, change, and climb out from under the relentless thumb of anxiety. I can honestly say I am now healed.

Are you tired of fighting against your fears? Has panic interrupted your life?  Has anxiety stopped you from going after your dreams? I encourage you to read my story and start your soul-searching journey now so you, too, can venture toward peace.

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Finally Fearless: Journey from Panic to Peace is filled with practical advice, exercises, personal stories, and tangible ways for readers to participate in their healing.

Also available:

Front Cover Workbook

Get the workbook that accompanies this book. The Finally Fearless Workbook is a great tool for church groups, book clubs, or individuals who want to play an active role in their healing from fear and anxiety.

I am not a medical doctor or a psychologist. I am a creative, intelligent woman. Yet panic and anxiety left me feeling completely out of control. I ached for God to show up and heal me instantly. Instead, He became my Wonderful Counselor, and He walked me through my fears, step by step, toward healing.

Much of my personal recovery came through healing exercises I did, the same ones I’m now sharing with you in this companion workbook. The work you will do here is a reflection of God’s relentless help in healing and encouraging me through these most vital exercises, creative assignments, journaling, reflection, and meditation on key scriptures.

This workbook also contains bonus material not found in the original book, including extra journal entries, assignments, poetry, and helpful collections of Bible verses grouped by topics like peace, hope, God’s faithfulness, fear, and trust.

Are you tired of fighting against your fears? Has panic interrupted your life?  Has anxiety stopped you from going after your dreams? Start your soul-searching journey now so you, too, can venture toward peace.

You can get copies of the Ebook or Paperbacks on Amazon.

Special thanks to my husband for all of his hard work on this project. He designed the covers, designed the workbook, and took all of the beautiful, peaceful photography used in it. He wrote the original music for the book trailer, and edited it. (And yes, that’s his lovely singing voice at the end.) But more importantly, I’m so grateful for the role he played in helping me become Finally Fearless.
 
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Morning Glory

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Ps 30:5b (niv) “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Everyone who knows me almost immediately thinks of the color purple. My purple feathered pen. The name of my production company, Purple PenWorks. My insistence … 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