Author Bios:
Cheryl McKay is the co-author (with Frank Peretti) of the Wild and Wacky, Totally True Bible Stories series, which has sold nearly 200,000 copies, and the screenwriter of the award-winning film The Ultimate Gift. Rene Gutteridge has published thirteen novels including Ghost Writer, My Life as a Doormat, the Boo Series, the Occupational Hazards Series, and the Storm Series. Together, McKay and Gutteridge are the authors of The Ultimate Gift, a novelization based on the feature film and popular book by the same title.

Premise of book in a nutshell: When God becomes a live-in-the-flesh part of Jessie Stone’s life, Jessie is skeptical. After all, most men wind up disappointing her. Could God really have a better love story in mind? A romantic comedy with a spiritual twist, Never the Bride is about losing control and getting more than any woman could ever imagine.

Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge’s awesome creative chemistry has already impressed fans of The Ultimate Gift—the two co-authored the novelization of the film. You won’t want to miss this duo’s latest collaboration!

Never the Bride
By Cheryl McKay and  Rene Gutteridge
Published by: Water Brooke
ISBN# 978-0-307-44498-1
320 Pages

Back Cover: 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?

REVIEW: “You don’t know me yet, so there is no reason you should care that I’m stuck on a highway with a blowout. But maybe we can relate to each other.” Don’t you just love these first lines of the book? They totally made me want to know what happened next. This story definitely went in a direction I didn’t expect, and I was pleasantly surprised!

This book reminded me of the movie Evan Almighty. Evan realized that strange things were happening in his life. They really got weird when he met God. Then God wanted him to build an ark. Jessie isn’t asked to build an ark but God asks impossible things of her- or so she thinks.

Authors Cheryl and Rene describe the single life and how people are creative about meeting one another. They describe the Valentines rush dating process that is hysterical and sad all at the same time. One friend says,” …you can tell a lot about a guy by what he asks you.” Boy is that so true.

Here’s what Jessie thinks of God, “God has never been in the business of coming to my rescue. Or doing anything for me, for that matter.” So, why should she listen to Him now? It’s probably not Him- she thinks …just the return of her childhood imaginary friend. It could happen. Or she could be going crazy! She was rooting for the imaginary friend.

Jessie argues with God when she says,” Everything I’ve accomplished in my life, I’ve done myself. Me. Alone. Why should I trust you..?”

I loved what she thinks God is saying to her; “You haven’t asked me for help…Of course, you can keep doing things your way. Is that’s working for you.”

I remember this very statement being said to me,” Is what your doing working for you, Nora?” It really stopped me in my tracks. No, it hadn’t been working at all!! I had to surrender my will for His. That’s what God is asking her to do too. Jessie thinks this is the craziest thing on the planet to do..surrender?…never! “I’m a woman. In case you didn’t notice. I don’t have to make sense.” Jessie has all the answers—or so she thinks! Grin!

This story will touch your heart, make you laugh out loud and choke you up and bring happy tears to your eyes. The Lord touched me deeply when I read about Jessie’s struggles in life and how God was trying to get her attention. Oh, Lord if I only listened to you when you told me to do things the first time. The Lord loves us so much if we all could get a hold of that concept the world would be a different place.

God is the ultimate gentleman, patiently waiting for us to run into His arms of Love; where we can feel safe, secure, deeply and utterly loved. I don’t know about you, but I want that. This book reminds me of when I first received God’s love in my heart and realized how much God loves me. It reminded me I’m not alone in the struggle to do what He’s asked me to do….no matter what it is. You’ll want to read this over and over again. This books a keeper.

Book Club Servant Leader


.****DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants****


  1. The book looks awesome! I think it's cool that it's a screenplay turned into a book. I also found it fascinating that Renee was at the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Great interviews with both ladies!


  2. What interesting interviews and interesting questions that you asked both Cheryl and Rene. I especially loved where you asked if ever had an encounter with G-d the way Jessie did when G-d asks her out for her birthday.


  3. When I first read the title, Never a Bride, my mind went in all different directions about the book. Then I realized after I read your interview, it's not what I expected. Sounds more like a deep encounter with God. Like you say, it sounds like a keeper! Would love this book. Please enter me.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  4. I enjoyed both interviews, as some questions were different than most interviews. I know nothing about screen plays vs. novels and found that part interesting. It makes sense that writing the novel before the movie is made would give more freedom, which I would prefer than merely going along with the movie.

    Thanks so much for the giveaway.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  5. sounds like a great book~ I can't wait to read it! and win it :)

    I live close to Rene and she came to our book discussion group last year. she was very friendly and talked with us for hours. we loved her and her book!

    Cheryl, my girls and I have a mother/daughter chocolate festival every year where everyone brings something chocolate or goodies to dip into the chocolate fountain! I have pics here:

    stampedwithgrace at cox dot net

  6. Rene & I liked the same tv shows growing up. I have to say I really liked The Abyss also. I also loved the same shows as Cheryl. As for The Breakfast Club I think I watched that movie every day after school my senior year! I'd love to win this book. Blessings, Mimi
    mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

  7. Great interviews! It was nice to get to know both of the authors. I was excited to see that Cheryl McKay is the screenwriter of 'The Ultimate Gift' I love that movie! It has such a wonderful, inspiring message. I also find the story of the Springhill mine disaster very facinating and look forward to seeing it on film one day!
    Rene, I would love to see you on of my favorite shows!
    Thanks for the chance to win this book!

  8. Great interviews and a wonderful looking book! I was also a big fan of "The Breakfast Club", and have passed my love of that movie on to my 18-y.o. daughter! I was fascinated to learn that Cheryl and Rene both had involvement in "The Ultimate Gift" - another great story and film. Please toss my name in for the drawing.


  9. Very interesting interviews! i found it interesting you prefer McDonalds to fancy dinners.....

  10. I'm very excited to read this book. I loved Cheryl's adaptation of the Ultimate Gift.

    Nora thanks for your giveaways!

  11. Nora...this book sounds like it is writtten for me. It seems like I always have to be hit in the head with a few bricks before I finally get the message. I'm so glad that God had an eon on patience for me!

  12. i'm pretty sure i am rene gutteridge's biggest fan! it was great fun to read the interview with her and learn more about her. love her sense of humor - her characters make me laugh out loud. can't wait to read "never a bride."

  13. I love a laugh out loud book once in awhile. I've not gotten to read anything written by these authors and would love a chance to. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks.
    Pam Williams
    cepjwms at wb4me dot com

  14. ive come across several reviews for this book, and it sounds hilarious and awesome. Please count me in for your giveaway.
    QallieQ (at) gmail (dot) com

  15. Wow, I too have been asked- Is what you are doing working for you? It reall helps sometimes and stop to think like that! I cannot wait to get to read this book!

  16. Sounds like a wonderful book! Loved the interviews as always Nora.


  17. I was so impressed by the fact that Rene willingly gave up her writing career to God, so she could concentrate on being a mother. Her obedience was rewarded with her first book contract when her baby was just five months old. That impressed me tremendously, especially since I am always fighting God for "the purple pen." I can't wait to read Never the Bride. I hope I win it!

  18. I am so excited to see what the movie is going to be like! I have to read the book first though!

    rebornbutterfly (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

  19. Wow, this book sounds really good! I have loved Rene's books in the past, esp the BOO series, and this one sounds like it has lots of her trademark humor in it too. I was surprised to read of Rene's close encounter in Oklahoma City (God still had plans for her!) and it was kind of surprising to hear how Cheryl fights with God. I had never thought of it that way, but I guess I do that often too. Always wanting my way and then getting mad when God doesn't give it to me. Thanks for opening my eyes to that! I would love to win a free copy of this book since my husband would never allow me to buy it on my own with 'his' money. He would say it doesn't give God the honor He should get, as he is very literal in his thinking and would say it makes fun of God. Anyway, thanks for this giveaway and the intervies--I enjoyed them! God bless! Sherri Myers
    sherri 5 at pa dot net

  20. THE WINNER IS MIMI BAKER!! CONGRADULATIONS Mimi. I know that you will LOVE this book.

    THANKS to EVERYONE for encouraging this writing duo. I'm very excited about what they will be cooking up next.

    THANKS Rene and Cheryl for allowing everyone to get to know you better through the interviews that you have done. Thanks for allowing me to share all the pictures as well. I LOVE that you don't back down from showing the Lord to millions in your special way.

    Blessings to you both!!

    Nora :D

  21. I am humbled and honored that so many of you took the time to read our interviews and were affected by them. And that you're all excited about reading this book. This story is closer to my heart than any one I've ever written and it means the world to me to see so many respond this way. Please let Rene and I know what you think once you get your own copy!