Tag Archives: Rene Gutteridge

Top 10 Tuesday — I Will Read Anywhere!

17 Aug

Today’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is favorite places to read. Since I will read anywhere, I thought it would be a fun twist to match books to the Dr. Seuss-style poem about reading (many thanks to Seuss’ Green Eggs And Ham for the poet’s inspiration). While I had to stretch some of the connections, I think you will forgive me as the books I am sharing are awesome!

For more Top 10 Tuesday fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Books Featuring Boats

The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey

Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot

Books Featuring Farms (goats live on farms 😉 )

The Sowing Season by Katie Powner

Stay with Me by Becky Wade

Books Featuring Trains

The Haunting of Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

Books Featuring Rain

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton

Books Featuring A Fox

These really are a stretch — a young man who is sly as a fox and an exotic pet-sitter who probably wouldn’t turn down a pet fox.

Belinda Blake And The Snake in The Grass by Heather Day Gilbert

Two Steps Forward by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Books Featuring Boxes

Possession by Rene Gutteridge

The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate

Books Featuring A Mouse

Mouse’s Christmas Gift by Mindy Baker

The Thief by Stephanie Landsem

Books Featuring A House

In The Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson

The Memory House by Rachel Hauck

Top 10 Tuesday — Page-Turners

20 Jul

Happy Tuesday! This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is books read in one sitting. It’s funny that now that I am retired and have no children at home it takes me longer to read a book than it used to. Maybe in my *ahem* younger and busier years I knew that my available reading time was limited. Who knows? While I no longer read books in one sitting, I do read some faster than others. These are usually in my favorite genre — mystery/suspense — and just naturally keep me turning the pages. My list today includes recent reads as well as those from years ago that I really did read in one sitting, many of which are part of a series (more good reads!). I hope you find one that will keep you turning those pages too. 🙂

For more page-turning books, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Page-Turners

Aftermath by Terri Blackstock

Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill

A Cry from The Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks

Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan

Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann

Never Miss by Melissa Koslin

Proof by Jordyn Redwood

Storm Gathering by Rene Gutteridge

Vanished by Irene Hannon

First Line Friday — Boo Humbug

18 Dec

Happy Friday! Only 7 more days until Christmas! It doesn’t seem real does it. I know a lot of your Christmas celebrations will be different this year. We are trying to protect my MIL by staggering family visits. We have friends grieving losses due to Covid and others who are fighting cancer and other chronic diseases. It seems too much somehow. I have been a bit emotional this week with all that is going on, and that leads to more distraction and less reading for me. After I hit publish, I am going to try to get my reading mojo back on and escape into a great book.

So do you read less or more during Christmas? Do you find relaxation in the pages of the book or do all the distractions of the season keep you from focusing? (I am not counting time with friends and family a distraction 😉 ). If you need a good escape, do I have a book for you! Actually, a whole series. You’re welcome! Rene Gutteridge is one of my favorite authors and her Boo series is so much fun. This week I am featuring the first sentence of Boo Humbug. It is such a fun Christmas novella. You need to read the whole series though. Again, you’re welcome. 😉

Here’s the first line:

“Think outside the box,” Mr. Watson implored as his gaze fell over his students, all clustered together on the stage floor, their backs erect with enthusiasm.

 

It’s Christmastime in Skary, Indiana, but the holiday season has been hijacked by maverick director Lois Stepaphanopolis as she attempts to bring her horror-ific vision of A Christmas Carol to life. But the holly-decked path from page to stage is a thorny one, as Lois attempts to rally her skeptical cast, including new father Wolfe Boone, and then she learns that her reluctant marketing director, Alfred Tennison, is truly a Christmas Scrooge.

Alfred’s grassroots marketing plan proves more than successful as the buzz builds that Skary should anticipate an overflowing audience for their opening night —  but a crucial miscommunication leaves the visiting theatergoers expecting of a very different Christmas production. As chaos ensues, can the actors pull off an improv miracle — and can the Skary community convince their own Scrooge to embrace the true meaning of Christmas?

Rene Gutteridge is the author of 24 novels, including Misery Loves Company, Possession, Listen, Never the Bride (2011 Carol Award Winner), The Boo Series, The Storm Series, The Occupational Hazards Series, My Life as a Doormat (now a Hallmark movie called Love’s Complicated) and Love’s a Stage. She has a degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in screenwriting and twenty years of experience writing, directing and publishing comedy sketches. She writes in both comedy and suspense genres. She is also a full-time screenwriter for The Skit Guys.

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Non-Book Hobbies

3 Nov

This week, Top 10 Tuesday is talking about Non-Book Hobbies. Is there such a thing? 😉 I admit to books being just about everything in my spare time. I do crochet a bit and I enjoy the outdoors at our north Georgia cabin and I play at baking, but I don’t have a green thumb, I am not a gourmet, travel is at a standstill now, and my mom’s hobby — housecleaning — doesn’t appeal. So, there you have it! Makes for a boring blog post.

I decided to feature a few books that would appeal to a range of hobbyists. Hope you find one that fits into your extrabookular activities.

 

Top Non-Book Hobbies Books!

Art

A Fool And His Monet by Sandra Orchard

Serena Jones has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art — one that’s surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about the art thief who murdered her grandfather. She’s joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother’s pleas to do something safer –like get married — Serena’s learning how to go undercover to catch thieves and black market traders.

When a local museum discovers an irreplaceable Monet missing, Jones leaps into action. The clues point in different directions, and her boss orders her to cease investigating her most promising suspect. But determined to solve the case and perhaps discover another clue in her grandfather’s murder, she pushes ahead, regardless of the danger.

Baking

All’s Fair in Love And Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant

Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie’s bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.
But when Lucas Brannen, Kat’s best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself — her — is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat’s senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.

Collecting

Lady of A Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry — the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust — who in her life is false or true, brass or gold — and what is meant to be treasured.

Gardening

Like A Watered Garden by Patti Hill

“I received a box of flowers from my dead husband.”

Life has stalled for Colorado garden designer Mibby Garrett after losing her husband in a bicycle accident six months ago. Mibby devotes herself to avoiding “whammies o’ grief,” the painful and sudden reminders of her former life. But for her son, she’s willing to face anything. With the support of the indomitable Louise, friend and neighbor, and her faithful gardening clients, Mibby even considers romance with a too-good-to-be-true widower. Then comes the biggest whammy of all, a stranger with a claim to her husband’s heart. Will Mibby retreat or sound the charge on life?

Music

Song of Silence by Cynthia Ruchti

Lucy and Charlie Tuttle agree on one thing: they’re committed to each other for life. Trouble is, neither of them expected life to look like this. While Charlie retired early, Lucy is devoted to a long-term career . . . until the day she has no choice.

Forced to retire from her position as music educator in a small Midwestern K-8 school, Lucy can only watch helplessly as the program her father started years ago disintegrates before her eyes. As the music fades and a chasm separates her from the passion of her heart, Lucy wonders if her faith’s song has gone silent, too. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes.

When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees — and hears — everything.

Quilting

Rival Hearts by Tara Randel

They both want the promotion. But will they find out that it is worth the cost?

Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver have been rival magazine writers for the same publishing group for years. When both come up for the same promotion, they find themselves in an unexpected competition to win the spot. Molly, editor of Quilter’s Heart, and Ben, editor of Outdoor Adventures, must switch roles, each working for the other for one month, then submit an article at the end of their quests. Can girly-girl Molly survive the outdoor adventures that Ben has planned? Can Ben navigate the perils of the social dynamics of quilting events without destroying a valuable quilt in one short month? More importantly, in this he-said, she-said situation, will Molly and Ben give in to their attraction and fall in love, no matter who wins?

Writing

Ghost Writer by Rene Gutteridge

Jonathan Harper is a fiction editor at a publishing house who devotes all of his time to work, and is slowly drifting away from his family. While proof reading a story about a serial killer written by his best friend and father figure Clyde, he begins to receive a story from an anonymous source that is eerily similar to his own life. It contains details no one else could possibly know, details about his childhood and his marriage. As the suspense builds, Jonathan is forced to confront the demons in his own life as he seeks to understand the mystery behind the story.

 

Reading Road Trip — Indiana

26 Aug

I have never been to Indiana, but one of my best friends was born and raised there and sings her home state’s praises. She travels back there every summer to spend 2 (she says glorious) weeks at her family’s lakefront cabin. So in honor of Beth, I am taking my blog on a Reading Road Trip to the Crossroads of America — Indiana.

Of the books I have read that are set in Indiana, only one is historical fiction. If you know of any other titles, I would love to add them to my TBR pile!

 

Reading Road Trip — Indiana

Wings Like A Dove by Camille Eide

Can the invisible walls that separate people ever come down?

In 1933, Anna Leibowicz is convinced that the American dream that brought her Jewish family here from Poland is nothing but an illusion. Her father has vanished. Her dreams of college can’t make it past the sweat-shop door. And when she discovers to her shame and horror that she’s with child, her mother gives her little choice but to leave her family. Deciding her best course of action is to try to find her father, she strikes out…hoping against hope to somehow redeem them both.

When Anna stumbles upon a house full of orphan boys in rural Indiana who are in desperate need of a tutor, she agrees to postpone her journey. But she knows from the moment she meets their contemplative, deep-hearted caretaker, Thomas Chandler, that she doesn’t dare risk staying too long. She can’t afford to open her heart to them, to him. She can’t risk letting her secrets out.

All too soon, the townspeople realize she’s not like them and treat her with the same disdain they give the Sisters of Mercy — the nuns who help Thomas and the boys — and Samuel, the quiet colored boy Thomas has taken in. With the Klan presence in the town growing ever stronger and the danger to this family increasing the longer she stays, Anna is torn between fleeing to keep them safe . . . and staying to fight beside them.

Oh, that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest . . .

Before I Saw You by Amy K. Sorrells

Folks are dying fast as the ash trees in the southern Indiana town ravaged by the heroin epidemic, where Jaycee Givens lives with nothing more than a thread of hope and a quirky neighbor, Sudie, who rescues injured wildlife. After a tragedy leaves her mother in prison, Jaycee is carrying grief and an unplanned pregnancy she conceals because she trusts no one, including the kind and handsome Gabe, who is new to town and to the local diner where she works.

Dividing her time between the diner and Sudie’s place, Jaycee nurses her broken heart among a collection of unlikely friends who are the closest thing to family that she has. Eventually, she realizes she can’t hide her pregnancy any longer―not even from the baby’s abusive father, who is furious when he finds out. The choices she must make for the safety of her unborn child threaten to derail any chance she ever had for hope and redemption. Ultimately, Jaycee must decide whether the truest form of love means hanging on or letting go.

Lead Me Home by Amy K. Sorrells

Amid open fields and empty pews, small towns can crush big dreams.

Abandoned by his no-good father and forced to grow up too soon, Noble Burden has set his dreams aside to run the family farm. Meanwhile, James Horton, the pastor of the local church, questions his own calling as he prepares to close the doors for good.

As a severe storm rolls through, threatening their community and very livelihood, both men fear losing what they care about most . . . and reconsider where they truly belong.

Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter

Madison’s heart has been closed for years. But one summer can change everything.

In the years since her twin brother’s drowning, Madison McKinley has struggled to put it behind her. Despite the support of her close-knit family and her gratifying job as a veterinarian in their riverside town, the loss still haunts her.

To find closure, Madison sets out to fulfill her brother’s dream of winning the town’s annual regatta. But first she has to learn to sail, and fast.

Beckett O’Reilly knows Madison is out of his league, but someone neglected to tell his heart. Now she needs his help—and he’ll give it, because he owes her far more than she’ll ever know.

Madison will do anything—even work with the infamous Beckett O’Reilly—to reach her goal. And as much as she’d like to deny it, the chemistry between them is electrifying. As summer wanes, her feelings for him grow and a fledgling faith takes root in her heart.

But Beckett harbors a secret that will test the limits of their new love. Can their romance survive summer’s challenges? And will achieving her brother’s dream give Madison the peace she desperately seeks?

Boo by Rene Gutteridge

For sixteen years, reclusive horror novelist Wolfe “Boo” Boone has been Skary, Indiana’s greatest attraction, turning the once-struggling town into a thriving tourist trap for the dark side. But then a newly reformed Wolfe quits the genre and starts to pursue Skary’s favorite girl-next-door. Truly horrified, the little town he made famous hatches a scheme to get their most famous resident out of love and back into the thrill business.

 

 

Home to Harmony by Philip Gulley

Welcome to Harmony …

In this acclaimed inaugural volume in the Harmony series, master American storyteller Philip Gulley draws us into the charming world of minister Sam Gardner in his first year back in his hometown, capturing the essence of small-town life with humor and wisdom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — The Back to School Edition

28 Aug

It has been some years since I have had to worry about all things back to school — supply lists, endless forms to sign, open houses, etc. My youngest son is in his final year of law school, but he resists first day pictures. 😉 So all I have is a list of books that loosely align with course titles. And while they probably won’t appear on any syllabus, they are definitely required reading! So whether your nest is empty or you still find yourself in the interminable car riders line, here are some books I recommend you check out. Enjoy!

Be sure to check out all the bloggers’ back to school lists at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Back to School Reading

 

American History (early years)

The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

 

Biology/Chemistry (making science sizzling)

The Summer of The Burning Sky trilogy by Susan May Warren

 

English Composition (writers gotta write)

Ghost Writer by Rene Gutteridge

The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

 

French (history other than the French Revolution)

My Brother’s Crown by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

Two Crosses by Elizabeth Musser

Home Economics (yes I know it isn’t called that anymore)

The Pattern Artist by Nancy Moser

The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano

 

Western Civilization (because knights and castles)

The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

A Loyal Heart by Jody Hedlund

 

Top 10 Tuesday — The Novella

17 Jul

no·vel·la

noun
1. a short novel or long short story.

Yep, that is the official definition of novella, the subject of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. As in the case of their longer cousins, novellas span genres and styles — historical, contemporary, suspense, romance — there is something for everyone! Looking at the varying forms novellas take, I have come up with a few categories. What do you think?

Don’t forget to check out other bloggers favorite novellas at That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

 

Top Novellas

The Complimentary Novella — books that are written to introduce or compliment a novel series. These help to fill in the blanks, as well as entice a reader with a quick read. They are often prequels to the main story.

An Awakened Heart (An Orphan Train Novella) by Jody Hedund

Then Came You (A Bradford Sisters novella) by Becky Wade

 

Interrelated Novella Collection — these 2-4 novella collections often have several authors all writing within a continuing storyline. The examples I have chosen either follow different members of a family, involve characters connected with a place, and/or tell the story from different characters’ points of view.

Austen in Austin, volume 1 by Susan Dietze, Gina Welborn, Anita Mae Draper, and Debra E. Marvin

Invitation, Cycle One of The Harbingers Series by Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, Bill Myers, and Alton Gansky

Where Tree Tops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and Sarah Sundin

 

Serialized Novellas — a series of individually published novellas (not part of a published collection) that follow a character, or group of characters, and are written by a single author.

Boo series by Rene Guttering (there are 4 in the series)

In The President’s Service series by Ace Collins (there are 14 books in this series, I have included the covers of the first 2)

Summer of The Burning Sky series by Susan May Warren (a third is due out in August)

Thematic novella collections — several novellas published together and united by a common theme or subject matter. They often involve several authors.

Among The Fair Magnolias by Tamera Alexander, Dorothy Love, Elizabeth Musser, and Shelley Gray

Sins of The Past by Dee Henderson, Lynette Eason, and Dani Pettrey

 

Standalone Novellas — a complete, unto itself story, just in novella length. I have found that there are lots of novellas published with Christmas themes — great for quick reading during a very busy time of year.

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti 

Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh

Silent Night, Deadly Night by Richard Mabry, M.D.

 

What is your favorite novella?

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Authors To Read in One Sitting

21 Mar

I love, love, love suspense! And I have a few go-to authors that I must read. Some of their books are so good that I just cannot put them down. It’s a blessing and a curse! A blessing because I know when I buy their books I will be in for a twisting, turning good time. A curse because the ride, like those at amusement parks, are over much too quickly! LOL!

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke And The Bookish, I have 5 authors that have books that are easily read in one sitting. To find out what other bloggers are sharing this week, click HERE.

Top Books I Could Not Put Down!

Terri Blackstock

Brandilyn Collins

Rene Gutteridge

Irene Hannon

Lisa Harris

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.

toptentuesday

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

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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

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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

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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.)