Tag Archives: Rene Gutteridge

Winners of Possession by Rene Gutteridge

Rene Gutteridge Week 2011, WordLily.com

The winners of Possession by Rene Gutteridge are:

Sheila, Ruth, and Jennifer.

I’ve emailed each of them to get their mailing addresses. Congratulations, ladies!

The prizes for these giveaways were provided by Tyndale; I’m mailing them to the winners myself.

If you didn’t win, you can buy a copy here.

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

Interview with author Rene Gutteridge

It’s Friday! And this interview concludes Rene Gutteridge Week. I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Rene Gutteridge Week 2011, WordLily.com

I’m pleased today to welcome Rene Gutteridge to Word Lily! She is the author of seventeen novels, the latest of which is Possession [my review].

Rene Gutteridge pic

Author Rene Gutteridge

Word Lily: Listen isn’t the first book you’ve written that’s focused on the power of words (Ghost Writer, for one). I’m a lover of words and language, and I’ve often seen the powerful impact of words. The instances that stick in my head, though, are kind of the opposite of those in Listen. Where did that story come from?

Rene Gutteridge: Listen came from many places for me. I watched in the news how people have been obliterating each other with words on the web, everyone from adults to children. It broke my heart. I also saw it in my personal life, how much words hurt, how it caused hate, and how my own words affected other people. Listen was a culmination of what I felt was going so wrong in our society. I wanted to bring a magnifying glass to the subject matter.

Word Lily: Per your website, in 2011 you’re working on your first nonfiction book, a novelization called Heart of the Country, and another suspense novel. (Whew, busy!) This after your last two releases have fallen more along suspense lines, as well. Will you return to humor, at some point? Also, care to elaborate on any or all of these projects?

Rene Gutteridge: I will always return to humor! And yes, I will be returning to humor alongside my writing buddy, Cheryl McKay. We’ll be announcing more details soon, but I am very excited about our upcoming projects. I’m also in the rewriting stage of Heart of the Country and I’m so eager to get this into the hands of readers. Many readers may not know that my second book, Troubled Waters, was a family drama, and that’s what I’m returning to with Heart of the Country. I love a good family drama, and readers who love drama too won’t be disappointed. I’ve teamed up with filmmaker John Ward (I Am) and Tyndale House publishers to bring John’s script into novel form. This will be out sometime this year. My next suspense will be from Tyndale as well, but I don’t want to release details about that yet. However, I think I am going to have an absolute blast writing it, while also scaring myself spitless. Can’t elaborate yet on the nonfiction book, but I will tell you that I think it may be the most important book I’ll ever write. I’m thrilled to be on the project and am currently working on it.

Word Lily: Any recommendations for other humorous Christian fiction?

Rene Gutteridge: You can never go wrong with Kristin Billerbeck. Her dialogue and knack for timing on the written page is impeccable. Laura Jensen Walker also has some great humorous Christian fiction offerings.

Word Lily: Thanks! Tell us how you went from writing comedy sketches for churches to novels.

Rene Gutteridge: I had actually written novels before I started sketch writing. But I hadn’t published any of them yet. Writing church sketches was probably the single most influential writing exercise I’ve ever done or ever will do. I had a live audience, so I could see their immediate reaction to my writing. I saw what worked and what didn’t. This was particularly helpful writing comedy. Before writing sketches, I hadn’t attempted any comedy. But I quickly saw how impacting comedy can be, and so I gave it a shot. I failed a lot, but that just helped me succeed later with it. I also used to direct, but I was a horrible director because I was so focused on everyone getting their lines right, since I wrote them, that I neglected everything else. My actors were always asking, “Where should we stand? What should the blocking be?” I was like, “Just stand there, don’t move, but make sure you get that line right.”

Word Lily: How can I get my hands on your plays and sketches?

Rene Gutteridge: I am working on that. I have over 500 sketches and one full-length play. I’m hoping to get a website up this year that will offer all these sketches.

Word Lily: That sounds great! A couple more general questions now. Why do you write?

Rene Gutteridge: I write because God gave me the gift. I am so glad He did. I enjoy it so much. It’s really the business side of writing that frustrates me the most. But God’s got to get us out of our comfort zone often so we continue to depend on Him. But the business side of writing (taxes, contracts, etc.) is truly the thorn in my side.

Word Lily: What are you reading?

Rene Gutteridge: Right now an advance copy of an Alison Strobel novel and Decision Points by George W. Bush.

Word Lily: Thank you so much for your time, Rene!


About the author
Rene Gutteridge (Facebook) is the author of 17 novels. She and her family live in Oklahoma.

Other (rare) interviews with Rene Gutteridge

2006 interview with Tyndale
• The downloadable excerpt of Possession includes an interview (that’s in the back of the book)


Thanks to Tyndale, I have three copies of Gutteridge’s latest, Possession, to give away this week. And one of those giveaways is now! Enter to win a copy of Possession by Rene Gutteridge by leaving a comment on this post. (One entry per person per giveaway; sorry, U.S. only.) I’ll accept entries through today, Friday, January 28, 2011. The other two giveaways are still open, as well.

Edited to add: This giveaway is now closed. See who won.

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

Boo Humbug by Rene Gutteridge

It’s Friday of Rene Gutteridge Week. I’m glad for the weekend, as always, but I’m also a bit sad to see the end of this special focus. There are, at least, a few more hours left, though. Later today I’ll post my interview with the author — and the giveaways of Possession, her latest, will remain open through the end of the day.

Rene Gutteridge Week 2011, WordLily.com

Word Lily review

Boo Humbug by Rene Gutteridge book 4 in the Boo series (WaterBrook, 2007), 192 pages

Summary
Lois Stepaphanopolis (great name, right?) has hijacked the community theater of Skary, Indiana (well, not literally) for her latest “genius” plan, twisting arms to get players and all. What’s the play? She’s re-written Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Thoughts
This is a slip of a book, and yes, it’s a Christmas story. Despite saying in December that I thought Christmas books weren’t really for me, I read this one in the days before Christmas and I quite liked it. I think a big reason why is that it’s not sickly sweet.

Rather, Boo Humbug is funny, as I expected of this series. Yes, it still has a message appropriate for Christmas.

The characters we’ve come to love are still very present, but this book is written from a fresh perspective.

The brilliance of this book is its use of the Dickens tale, both its distortion to the point of ruination in the planned stage play, and how it is paralleled (at least a little) in some of the characters.

I’m sad to see the end of this series, I want more funny books from Gutteridge.

★★★★☆

About the author
Rene Gutteridge (Facebook profile) writes both humorous and suspense novels. She lives in Oklahoma. She wrote plays and sketches before becoming a novelist.

Other reviews
Books, Movies and Chinese Food
Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

Listen by Rene Gutteridge: Guest review by My Friend Amy

I’m excited to welcome My Friend Amy to Word Lily today!

Rene Gutteridge Week 2011, WordLily.com

I’ve heard people sing the praises of Rene Gutteridge for a long time, and so when Hannah announced she was hosting a Rene Gutteridge week, I volunteered to read my first book by her. Since Listen was the only novel I had handy, that’s the one I went for.

The town of Marlow is facing a big challenge. Someone is recording their private conversations and posting them word for word on an anonymous website. Since most people are hard-pressed to guard their tongues in private, some pretty nasty stuff is showing up and tearing apart relationships. Everyone is on edge, never knowing what people think of them, but also secretly devouring every nasty secret on their computer screens.

We enter into this world via a small family, Damien and Kay and their two children, Jenna and Hunter. The family itself is facing some conflict. Damien is a bit bored with his career and wants to change things up, Kay is feeling insecure in her friendships with the mothers of her daughter’s friends, and Jenna and Kay are also constantly at odds. As things escalate in the town and dangerous things start to happen, the family finds themselves pulled together in new ways even as the outside threat grows dark.

I’ve been wanting to read Listen for while because the premise was irresistible. Ever since a day in middle school when I was at a concert with a friend complaining about my teacher and my teacher was RIGHT BEHIND ME, I’ve been really really careful about talking about people in public places. Listen takes the threat even further since many of the recorded conversations take place within homes.

While Gutteridge doesn’t explore the idea of “how do we really know someone” as much as I’d like, I found Listen to be a fast and entertaining read. I was greatly amused by some of the humor, such as when one character describes the start of the demise of his marriage the night he brought fried chicken home on his anniversary. The faith message is subtle but present and even the pastor doesn’t escape some suspicion in the crime.

I recommend Listen to anyone looking for a quick, enjoyable read that also deals with some heavier topics and is not devoid of meaning.

Thanks to Hannah for hosting Rene Gutteridge Week and pushing me to finally read some of her work!

Thanks so much, Amy! I’m glad you enjoyed your first taste of Gutteridge — and that you decided to share that with us.

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

Listen by Rene Gutteridge

It’s Thursday of Rene Gutteridge Week! What’s been your favorite part so far? We’re not done yet, though; there’s more to come.

Rene Gutteridge Week 2011, WordLily.com

Word Lily review

Listen by Rene Gutteridge (Tyndale, January 2010), 432 pages

Summary
Marlo’s known as being a town where nothing bad (or newsworthy) ever happens. No one knows what to think or where to turn when a mysterious website starts publishing the private conversations of townspeople. People’s initial reactions are varied, but as hours turn into days, it becomes clear that the site could have serious consequences.

Thoughts
I really loved the different perspectives in this book — a couple teens, a newspaper reporter, a newspaper editor, a cop, a mom.

In some ways, this felt like an issue book — a book written to illuminate, explore, condemn, etc., a certain problem — rather than just a book. I tend to dislike stories written for the purpose of conveying a moral or message. But as time has passed since I read it, that impression, along with my irritation based on it, has faded. Instead, I’m left with the thought that this story is a somewhat new exploration of the power of words, both to hurt and to heal. What I remember in this case are the aspects I enjoyed: the characters, the emotions.

Gutteridge’s Occupational Hazard series is still my favorite of her work, but this isn’t at the bottom of the stack, either.

★★★☆☆

About the author
Rene Gutteridge (Facebook) is the author of 17 novels. On her blog she posted chapter-by-chapter discussions about Listen, as well as other content about the power of words.

Other reviews
Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

I received this book from the publisher. I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

Boo Hiss by Rene Gutteridge

Welcome to Wednesday of Rene Gutteridge Week! We’re taking today a bit slower than it’s been (and will be) the rest of the week, but there’s plenty going on. On Twitter? Use the hashtag #RGWeek.

Rene Gutteridge Week 2011, WordLily.com

Word Lily review

Boo Hiss by Rene Gutteridge, book 3 of the Boo series (WaterBrook, 2005), 352 pages

Summary
Strange things are once again happening in the sleepy town of Skary, Indiana. This time the unexplainable include a new soccer field and a coffee shop with internet access. That’s not all, of course. (Some of the town’s newlyweds are now pregnant, among other things.)

Thoughts
Skary is populated by a passel of quirky characters. The word play — and the outright silliness — makes me laugh.

The plot is full of twists and turns, and the characters’ struggles are believable.
The descriptions of the Christian publishing industry (from an outsider’s perspective) are pretty … interesting, as well.

It’s clear the interior design for this series was given the attention it deserves. More than most books, it’s suitably whimsical (but not distracting).

I’m sad that I’ve burned through nearly all of her comedy titles; I think there’s only one left that I haven’t read now (My Life as a Doormat (in Three Acts)).

★★★☆☆

About the author
Rene Gutteridge (Facebook profile) writes suspense and comedy novels. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and two children.

Other reviews
Books, Movies and Chinese Food
Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

‘Gutteridge is one of my go-to authors': A guest post by Deborah of Books, Movies and Chinese Food

I’m thrilled to welcome Deborah of Books, Movies and Chinese Food to Word Lily today! She shares my appreciation for Rene Gutteridge and her books, so I’m excited she chose to participate in Rene Gutteridge Week. Plus, I feel like she kind of educates me on the subject of genres in this post. :P Thanks again, Deborah!

Rene Gutteridge Week 2011, WordLily.com

I love when an actor who is known for comedy suddenly does a 180 and gives a knockout performance in a serious drama. Not only is the audience caught completely off guard, they are blown away by the incredibly depth of the acting range of that actor. It shows how good an actor that person is because they are able to make the audience forget that they are seeing a guy known for crude slapstick who instead has become fully immersed in a completely different role.

It’s the same thing with an author who can write well in different genres. Rene Gutteridge is one of those authors. Romantic suspense, comedy, chick lit, women’s fiction, screenplay adaptations, she’s done it all. I was first introduced to her writing several years ago by a list of authors that author Camy Tang had put on her website. She had listed several of Rene’s books that should be read, so I figured, well I’ll give her a shot. My first taste of her books was Ghostwriter. And to this day that is my favorite of all her books. I won’t spoil the plot at all but it was such a page turner for me. The remarkable part for me as well was that there were TWO stories being told at the same time. Not just two plots taking place with different characters but a book being written within a book. And I always have high respect for authors who are able to juggle two completely different story lines into one manuscript. From then, I was sold. I knew I had to read more of Gutteridge’s books.

After Ghostwriter I read: Boo (small town charm, often called “Mitford on Steroids”) and its sequels, My Life as a Doormat (chick lit), The Storm series (romantic suspense), The Occupational Hazard series (I call this comedy) as well as several other stand alone books. ALL of them are written well and are distinct from each other. There are some authors who try to write in different genres — say, historical fiction and mystery — but you can still see them using the same formula, same plot devices in the books. With Rene’s books, they are different from each other, almost to the point where you don’t realize it’s the same author. However, I can’t explain it, but there’s still a certain trademark where you know it’s her books. She is one of my go-to authors, the ones where I know that I will enjoy the book no matter what genre she’s writing in.

Thanks so much, Deborah! And, friends? If you read Christian fiction and don’t follow her fabulous blog, you’re seriously missing out.


Thanks to Tyndale, I have three copies of Gutteridge’s latest, Possession [my review], to give away this week. And one of those giveaways is now! Enter to win a copy of Possession by Rene Gutteridge by leaving a comment on this post. (One entry per person per giveaway; sorry, U.S. only.) I’ll accept entries through Friday, January 28, 2011. The first giveaway is still open, as well.

Edited to add: This giveaway is now closed. See who won.

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

Boo Who by Rene Gutteridge

Welcome to Tuesday of Rene Gutteridge Week! That’s #RGWeek to the Twitter savvy.) I hope you’re enjoying it so far; there’s a bunch more fun to come.

Word Lily review

Boo Who by Rene Gutteridge, book 2 in the Boo series (WaterBrook, 2004), 352 pages

Summary
Since the town’s claim-to-fame (and claim-to-tourism) bestselling horror novelist became a Christian and quit writing horror, Skary, Indiana is no fumbling about, looking for a way to survive, a new way to self-identify.

Thoughts
A fun follow-up to Boo [my review]! This is certainly not surprising, though, because Gutteridge is great. (It’s been awhile since I read this, so I apologize if this review is a bit fuzzy.)

Rene Gutteridge Week 2011, WordLily.com

Many of the characters aren’t really believable, but that’s part of where the humor comes from — aside from the straight-faced puns. I don’t think I enjoyed this one as much as I remember liking the first installment, but I’ll still be reading the rest of the series. In fact, I’m reading the next book, Boo Hiss, as I write this, so I can read Boo Humbug, the series’ conclusion, yet this Christmas season. In addition, I’m looking forward to digging into her Possession, which I thought was going to be released in January 2011 but is apparently available now.

Gutteridge has recently been writing some more drama/thriller-type books, but so far the ones I love the most are the funny ones. As much as I love happy, funny books, good ones are really rare, especially in Christian fiction (or so it seems to me). And Gutteridge is definitely one of the best!

★★★☆☆

What authors have inspired you to read their entire catalog?

About the author
Rene Gutteridge started a blog earlier this year, but she doesn’t post much. She lives in Oklahoma with her family.

Other reviews
Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.