Tag Archives: Cheryl McKay

Book Review: O Little Town of Bethany

28 Nov

517bw90uerlHolly 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 . . . .



img_8183-2aRene Gutteridge is the award-winning and best-selling author of twenty-four multi-genre novels and is a seasoned collaborator in both fiction and film. She has novelized six screenplays and movies, including her newest, Old Fashioned, with writer/director Rik Swartzwelder. Her romantic comedy with screenwriter Cheryl McKay, Never the Bride, won the Carol Award in 2010 for Best Women’s Fiction. Her new titles include two more novelizations with Cheryl McKay, Love’s a Stage and O Little Town of Bethany. Her seven suspense books include Possession, Misery Loves Company, Ghost Writer and Escapement.

cheryl-and-purple-pen-smallCheryl McKay is a screenwriter, book author (non-fiction, children’s books, and co-written novelizations of her film scripts), married to the love of her life after a long wait to find love, an advocate for the hearts of singles who are losing hope in their waiting, and passionate about the health of marriages. Cheryl recently relocated to Atlanta, Georgia after living in Los Angeles for 15 years. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Chris, who is a photographer, a musician and video editor.



My Impressions:

Are you looking for a heartwarming Christmas book? Then you should definitely check out O Little Town of Bethany by Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl McKay. A quick read (I finished it in one sitting), this one is packed with lots to love. With a small town vibe, lovable characters, and a sweet romance, this Hallmark Movie-worthy novella gets a recommended rating from me.

So what makes this book a winner? First the town of Bethany itself is a place I wish I could visit. Nestled in a valley in north Georgia, the town has Victorian quaintness going for it. Its slightly quirky citizens are people I would love to hang out with. And the two main characters, Holly and Miss Bethany, are definitely women I could cheer for. Add a couple of cute kids and a hunky dad, and you don’t need much more. But . . . there is a bit more in the message of making a family a place to belong.

I loved O Little Town of Bethany! It certainly got me in the Christmas mood.


Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE

(Thanks to Serenade Books for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


Top 10 Tuedsay — New Books in The TBR Pile

8 Nov

Books, books and more books! That’s what my life looks like! I am always on the lookout for my next great read, even when I have 10s 100s 1000s waiting in the wings! This week the folks at The Broke And The Bookish have challenged us to list our most recently added books to the old TBR list. I will limit my list to just 10, although I could probably go on and on. To find out what other bloggers are looking forward to reading, click HERE.


I think I have a good mix of books to read in the upcoming weeks — history, mystery, romance, Christmas-themed and Indie-published novels. Eclectic, but that’s how I like it.

Top 10 Recently Added Books on The TBR List


Another Day, Another Dali by Sandra Orchard

A Christmas to Remember by Linda Brooks Davis

Dressed for Death by Julianna Deering


The End of The Roadie by Elizabeth Flynn

Finding Riley by Dan Walsh

Lucifer’s Harvest by Mel Starr

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year by Ace Collins


O Little Town of Bethany by Rene Guttering and Cheryl McKay

The Princes of Albion by Jon and Thomas Hopkins

Truth Be Told by J J Hemmestad


What are some of the books you are reading next?



Book Review: Love’s A Stage

9 Oct

Unknown-2Grad 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.


Rene-Gutteridge-low-res-2Rene Gutteridge is the author of over 25 books and has been writing professionally for almost two decades. Her writing ranges from comedy to suspense and from freelance writing to novels to screenplays. Her first feature film, SKID, is due out next year. Her latest two fiction projects are collaborations with screenwriter Cheryl McKay and are romantic comedies.

Cheryl-McKay-lower-resCheryl McKay began writing stories and plays at five years old based on pictures on her lunchboxes. She’s been writing since. Both a screenwriter and author of non-fiction and fiction books, her most notable film to date is The Ultimate Gift (James Garner, Abigail Breslin). Cheryl’s favorite genres are family dramas and romantic comedies. One of Cheryl’s favorite writing alliances is with Rene Gutteridge. The two partner on novelizations of Cheryl’s screenplays. (Never the Bride for Random House, Greetings from the Flipside for B&H.) Cheryl and her husband live in Los Angeles. She’s avid scrapbooker, day-tripper, and chocolate addict.


My Impressions:

Love’s A Stage is a light, romantic comedy with a bit of slapstick thrown in from the writing duo of Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl McKay. The setting is Massachusetts in the fall, complete with a Pilgrim-themed wedding (yes, that’s right, a Pilgrim wedding) and will get your Autumn romance reading off to a good start. The characters are likable — Aly is idealistic, Nick is devoted and the assortment of secondary characters range from loyal to clueless. But it is the underlying message that a marriage takes real work that resonated with this reader. As Aly and Nick planned their fake wedding to reunite Aly’s parents, it is apparent that for a real marriage to work, a couple needs to keep their eyes on the husband/wife relationship. A happily-ever-after follows near disaster that will have you chuckling. A quick read, Love’s A Stage is fun reading.

Recommended for fans of light romantic comedy.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Redbud Press for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)