Rene Gutteridge and I have teamed up for script-to-book novelizations. I met her when she novelized the screenplay for my feature film, The Ultimate Gift. Next, we got to do Never the Bride. We also hope to do a sequel. (Wouldn’t it be fun to follow Jessie into married life while God goes to work on her sister, Brooklyn, next?)

In the Fall 2015, we released 2 novels. One is Love’s a Stage, a Thanksgiving romantic comedy. The other is O Little Town of Bethany, a Christmas novella love story.

Our prior release was: Greetings from the Flipside, a romantic comedy (B&H Publishing):

Greeting Cover

Hope Landon has been rewriting other people’s greeting cards since she was six years old. There’s always a funnier caption in there somewhere. She’s ready to chase her creative dreams in New York City with her fiancé—until he leaves Hope at the altar.

That may give her something to write about . . .

Hope disappears for the time that would have been the couple’s month-long honeymoon, and upon returning learns of her own funeral. Everyone 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 isn’t easy to rent a place when you’ve been declared dead.

Taking shelter at the YMCA, Hope lands a job at an inspirational greeting card company assisting Jake, the 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.

Fun and faithful, Greetings from the Flipside will keep turning over in your mind.

Watch my co-author, Rene Gutteridge & I, talk about our writing process:

Where to Buy Greetings from the Flipside:

Greetings from the Flipside B&H Publishing
Greetings from the Flipside Christian Book Distributors
Greetings from the Flipside on 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

Never the Bride: Released June 2009 by RandomHouse/Waterbrook Press:

Where to buy Never the Bride:

Never the Bride at Randomhouse 
Never the Bride at Barnes & Noble
Never the Bride at Books-A-Million 
Never the Bride: A Novel on Amazon
Never the Bride at Christian

The Story:

Since she was just a little girl, Jessie Stone dreamed up hundreds of marriage proposals, doodled the romantic ideas in her journal with her treasured purple pen, and fantasized about wedding dresses and falling in love.  She’s been a bridesmaid nearly a dozen times, waved numerous couples off to sunny honeymoons, and shopped in more department stores for half-price fondue pots than she cares to remember.

But shopping for one key component of these countless proposals hasn’t been quite as productive–a future husband. The man she thought she would marry cheated on her.  The crush she has on her best friend Blake is at very best…well, crushing.  And speed dating has only churned out memorable horror stories.

So when God shows up one day, in the flesh, and becomes a walking, talking part of her life, Jessie is skeptical. What will it take to convince her that the Almighty has a better plan than one she’s already cooked up in her journals?  Can she turn over her pen and trust someone else to craft a love story beyond her wildest dreams?

What are people saying about Never the Bride: a novel?

I admire writers who employ words to paint touchable pictures and likable characters, instant friends, who lead us blithely to unexpected endings. That’s why I admire Cheryl and Rene and love Never The Bride.

–SQuire Rushnell, Author (When God Winks books)

Hope, Humor, and Happiness…to me, those are the attributes of good a book. Never The Bride, by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge is more than that…it’s terrific!

–Louise DuArt, Comedic Impressionist/TV Host/ Author: Couples Who Pray

In my mind, no one is better at turning a story into a movie and then turning a movie into a book than the team of Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge.  Cheryl took my novel The Ultimate Gift and turned it into a great 20th Century Fox movie with her marvelous screenplay.  Then Rene took The Ultimate Gift movie version of the story and turned it into a great novelization. In Never the Bride, we are all reminded of those eternal lessons we already know but often forget in our daily lives.  Jessie has been a bridesmaid 11 times, but when it comes to her own proposal and wedding, she is certain that God has somehow misplaced her address and phone number.  In the midst of trying to do it all herself, God reveals himself as willing to make it happen, but Jessie’s got to be willing to turn over the controls to Him. Never the Bride teaches us all powerful lessons about God’s plan, control, and the peace that comes with surrender.

–Jim Stovall, author, The Ultimate Gift

Engrossing as they are entertaining, McKay and Gutteridge hit it out of the park with this delightful romantic romp, striking at the heart of a woman’s deepest desire: to be known and loved for herself. Side-splittingly funny and devastatingly raw in turns, as Jessie aches for relationship at a soul level, Never the Bride mirrors the white-knuckled power struggle common to all who would dare to entrust the dearly coveted purple pens of their lives to Divine Authorship. Having devoured McKay’s inspired screenplay first, followed by this fabulously faithful novel, I can hardly wait for the movie!

–Susan Rohrer, Producer/Writer/Director

I devoured every single page. Never the Bride is the best romantic comedy written in years! A page turner from page one, you’ll instantly fall in love with Jessie—a hilariously high maintenance “never-the-bride,” who’s tried everything to find Mr. Perfect only to end up heartbroken and fed up. Her best friend is the One she really wants yet he never seems to notice. Enter God, who much to Jessie’s chagrin, decides it’s time to infiltrate Jessie’s life. Can God to be trusted with Jessie’s dream of happy-ever-after or is this all some messy kind of joke? Turn the page and find out.

–Victorya Rogers, Love Coach and host of, Author of Finding a Man Worth Keeping

Never the Bride is a pure delight!  It’s fun, refreshing, and witty, yet also profoundly insightful about God and His amazing love for us.  I’ll be recommending this one to my family and friends!

–Marlo Schalesky, author of If Tomorrow Never Comes and Beyond the Night

Never the Bride is a delightful book. Jessie is a wise-cracking, sarcastic gal I’d love to take to lunch. And her search for love and romance leads her to risk everything when God asks her to give up her purple pen: AKA dreams of perfect love. This book had me in stitches as I laughed with Jessie to tears as I felt her pain and desperation. Her interactions with God were so real and the love affair He wants with us painted beautifully. If you’re looking for a book that is more than a romance, this is the book. This novel will speak to the heart of every woman who’s ever sought the perfect man by pointing her to the perfect romance with enough humor to make the journey a delight.

–Cara C. Putman  (A Promise Kept (HP) and Trial By Fire (LI Suspense)


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