Never the Bride    -     By: Cheryl McKay, Rene Gutteridge
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Never the Bride

Random House, Inc / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

Jessie Stone has been a bridesmaid 11 times, but her own love life is lackluster. Her ex-boyfriend cheated on her, and her crush on Blake is going nowhere. So when God appears in the flesh one day to help, she's skeptical. What will it take to convince her that he has a better love story in mind? 320 pages, softcover from Waterbrook.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Random House, Inc
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.19 (inches)
ISBN: 0307444988
ISBN-13: 9780307444981
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

“What girl can’t identify with Never the Bride? This is a fabulously funny novel with deep truths embedded in its pages.” –Kristin Billerbeck, author of What a Girl Wants

“I admire writers who employ words to paint touchable pictures, likable characters, introducing us to instant friends who lead us to unexpected endings. That’s why I love Never The Bride.” –SQuire Rushnell, author of the When GOD Winks books


Eleven Bridesmaid Dresses Don’t Lie

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?


Cheryl McKay
is the screenwriter for the award-winning film The Ultimate Gift. She also wrote an episode of Gigi: God’s Little Princess, based on the book by Sheila Walsh, and Taylor’s Wall, a drama about high-school violence. She’s been writing since the tender age of five when she penned her first play. Cheryl is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, and currently lives in Los Angeles.

Rene Gutteridge is a critically acclaimed comedy writer and novelist. She is the author of fifteen novels including the Boo series, My Life as a Doormat, the Occupational Hazards series, and the novelization of the motion picture The Ultimate Gift. She lives in Oklahoma with her family.

Author Bio

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.

Cheryl McKay wrote the screenplay for the award-winning film, The Ultimate Gift, starring James Garner, Abigail Breslin and Brian Dennehy. She co-authored Frank Peretti's Wild & Wacky Totally True Bible stories series, and the DVD for Sheila Walsh 's Gigi: God's Little Princess.

ChristianBookPreviews

A screenplay by Cheryl McKay turned novel by Rene Gutteridge, Never the Bride is a recipe for love…of God. When sensible Jessica Stone begins to see God in the form of a man who talks to and touches her, she loses control of her world—and is much happier for it. Through laughter and tears, the reader finds that Jessie isn’t the only one who is challenged and changed.

Witty and honest, this novelization shocks even the most skeptical reader with words that cut to the heart without seeming preachy or overdone. The heart-wrenching reason behind Jessie and her younger sister’s bond establishes an understanding that, despite God’s supernatural and, at times unbelievable, appearance, this story is set in the real world where real pain exists. It is clear that the authors’ purpose is not to gloat about her knowledge of Christ, but rather, to share what each knows to be true of God through the telling of the characters’ unforgettable, yet somehow familiar, love story.

The book begins with Ms. Stone in comfortable control of her life and all that is in it; she recovered from her parents’ tragedy and grew up to be a responsible and reliable older sister, friend, and employee. But then, standing right there in Starbucks, is Him, the Almighty Creator of the Universe, and He won’t stop until she agrees to let Him write her love story. Sometimes running, sometimes sauntering, sometimes singing out of tune, and always causing a scene, Jessie moves forward with blind faith, at times tripping over herself, in search of the love she’s always dreamed of, only to find that He’s been following her around all along.

While she seems at first to be too cynical to be reconciled, Jessie quickly captures the reader’s attention with a vulnerability that feels familiar and a laugh-out-loud sarcastic flair that no one would want to ignore. Her interactions with other characters in the book are believable and relatable—I found myself scribbling an enthusiastic “yes!” beside many particularly accurate depictions of conflict between characters.

In keeping with Jessie’s initial compulsion with numbers (and everything else), I marked the pages of this adorable novel 104 times with “ha” or “haha” or even, at times a “hahaha,” and the number may have been even more than that had my cat not been lying on my writing arm (apparently enjoying the book, too). And even in the midst of my laughter, I would come to a line so full of realistic life-wrestling that I couldn’t help but stop and ponder the truth behind the choice of words. This book is a beautiful fit for anyone longing for a laugh, seeking a sense of mutual understanding, or looking to fall in love with the greatest Lover of all. – Carrie Bragg, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Endorsements

“What girl can’t identify with Never the Bride? This is a fabulously funny novel with deep truths embedded, but you’ll be having too much fun flipping pages to notice any medicine going down.” — Kristin Billerbeck, author of What a Girl Wants

“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 of the 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 and author of Couples Who Pray

“Never the Bride is a love story with a kick! Not just funny, this book is rollicking, with a heroine who can change her own tires, guide her own free-spirited sister, and keep an outlook on life that caused more than one fit of giggles. This is the kind of book I want to read again, simply because it is so rich with meaning, so intelligently written, I want to make sure I’ve caught every nuance.” — Hannah Alexander, author of A Killing Frost and the Hideaway series

“Never the Bride is a powerful and thought provoking story with just the right touch of humor. At times I laughed out loud, and at other times I wiped away my tears. Never the Bride is a treasure of a novel and a must read!” — Carrie Turansky, author of Along Came Love and Kiss the Bride

“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. I can hardly wait for the movie!” — Susan Rohrer, Producer/Writer/Director

“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. Never the Bride teaches us all powerful lessons about God’s plan, control, and the peace that comes with surrender.” — Jim Stovall, author of The Ultimate Gift

“Delightful, delightful, delightful is Rene Gutteridge’s Never the Bride. Ms. Gutteridge knows how to take a plot and give it an unexpected, soul-searching, humorous wow of a twist.” — Lyn Cote, author of The Desires of Her Heart

“Never the Bride is a delightful book. Jessie is a wise-cracking, sarcastic gal I’d love to take to lunch. This book had me in stitches as I laughed with Jessie, to tears as I felt her pain and desperation. 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.” — Cara C. Putman, author of Canteen Dreams and Sandhill Dreams

“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

“For all those wannabe brides out there, Never the Bride is a refreshing look at how quickly we can sell ourselves short. While reminding us, in a witty and yet profound way, that there is a wannabe Groom who has always been there. Every belly laugh and every tear inspired by this book will hopefully cause each wannabe bride to realize she already is one.” — Denise Hildreth, author of the Savannah series and Flies on the Butter

“I devoured every single page. Never the Bride is the best romantic comedy written in years! A page turner from page one.” — Victorya Rogers, Love Coach, host of ManToKeep.com, and author of Finding a Man Worth Keeping

“Never the Bride is a ticklish tale of one slightly neurotic woman’s quest to find Mr. Right that leads to an unexpected encounter. Delightfully memorable, wonderfully thought-provoking!” — Tamara Leigh, award-winning author of Splitting Harriet and Leaving Carolina

Editorial Reviews

“What girl can’t identify with Never the Bride? This is a fabulously funny novel with deep truths embedded in its pages.” –Kristin Billerbeck, author of What a Girl Wants

“I admire writers who employ words to paint touchable pictures, likable characters, introducing us to instant friends who lead us to unexpected endings. That’s why I love Never The Bride.” –SQuire Rushnell, author of the When GOD Winks books

Product Reviews

4.1 Stars Out Of 5
4.1 out of 5
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Meets Expectations:
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Displaying items 1-5 of 23
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  1. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Much More Than I Expected
    May 22, 2013
    AddLibrarian
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Jessie Stone has been trying to write her own love story (and failing) for a long time. So when God shows up and challenges her to let Him take a turn at it, will she hand over her pen to the original Author? I was perfectly content with what I thought was a fun, chicklitish read about a spunky heroine who can't find her prince charming. But then God showed up as a walking talking character, (and a cute one at that!) and this story became so much more than just another contemporary romance. Imaginative, thought-provoking, and a little hysterical.
  2. seattle, wa
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    April 11, 2012
    aimy
    seattle, wa
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Every since she was a little girl, Jessie Stone had fantasized hundreds of marriage proposals, doodled zillions of romantic ideas in a journal and dreamed of wedding dresses and falling in love. Being a bridesmaid nearly a dozen times, waving couples off to their honeymoons, and shopping in department stores for fondue pots are all things that constantly run back through her mind.

    But shopping for one key component of those proposals hasn't been as productive as she would have liked: the search for a future husband. What will it take for her to realize that the Almighty has a better plan that she could have ever cooked up in her journals? Will she turn over her pen and trust someone else to write a love story for her beyond her wildest expectations?

    Written by Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl McKay, this is one of those novels that you just can't put down. Never having read anything by these two authors before, I didn't know what to expect, but it was such a joy to read! It's written in such a way that is just so real and pulls you along with every page. I personally didn't think it was long enough. Some books I just want to go on forever, and this is one of those. And the cover is so enticing that it just draws you in. I definitely recommend this book!
  3. Edgewood, WA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Never Miss...Never the Bride
    July 19, 2011
    girlsmama
    Edgewood, WA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I know you don't know me, but I'll admit it -I'm a drama queen. Hopefully, I am not a drama queen in the negative sort or connotation that this label elicits, but in the very fact that I'm in charge of the drama program at my church. Why do I tell you this? It's because of the advice that my pastor always gives me- he says, "Please pick the comedy skits, because you get to people's hearts through the back door with them, not hitting them over the head with the heavy stuff, it just sort of gently comes to them through their own laughter." And so I comply with his requests- you will find this concept brilliantly executed with Cheryl McKay's and Rene Gutteridge's novel Never the Bride. There is no hitting you over the head, but lots of laughter and great insight, if you pay attention.

    We meet Jessie Stone broken down on the side of Pacific Coast Highway with a flat tire bemoaning the fact that there is no guy in her life to take care of these frustrations for her. Yes, the title of the book Never the Bride sums up her attitude on life in spades. After failed online dating services, failed speed dating, and just plain old failed relationships, Jessie Stone is at the end of her "forever single" rope. And then enters a tall, dark, and handsome man with gorgeous blue eyes. Hmmm the answer to her dreams (?) - Oh yeah, but maybe not as she thought. It's God Almighty in the flesh trying to get Jessie to see things His way, that He might have a few ideas on how to handle her love life. Does she listen to Him? Well, sort of, but with a few detours of her own.

    This story is told with a wonderful sense of humor, a brilliant fresh writing voice and is a plain, absolute joy to read. As this was written as a screenplay first (Cheryl McKay) and adapted to a novelization later (Rene Gutteridge), it is easy to see how it would make a great movie, but trust me it works as a great novel as well. The scenes are very easy to visualize, especially the scenes where God shows up in various times and places and completely un-nerves our heroine Jessie Stone. His timing is always off according to Jessie and right on time according to God. He manages to get her completely outside of her comfort zone with regards to her ideas on her profession, her beliefs with regards to Him, as well as, of course, her love life. But isn't God like that- His ways are always better than ours, if we will just listen.

    So from this drama queen to you I say" Bravo" on "Never the Bride" and I will be rushing to the Movie theaters if this is made into a movie. It was darling, winsome and full of great spiritual messages. I can think of quite a few friends to recommend this book to and I truly hope to see Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge team up again- they are a formidable force. 5 stars.
  4. Waynesboro, PA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Never the Bride is thought-provoking
    July 15, 2011
    Jamocha
    Waynesboro, PA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Wow! I'm not even sure where to begin. I read this book in 4 days time, which is pretty quick for me right now. Overall, I really enjoyed the story. Cheryl McKay's characters honed into book format with Rene Gutteridge's help made for an interesting and thought-provoking story on many levels. In the story, we meet Jessie Stone and follow her through life's misadventures and human assumptions. She is thirty-four, single, longing for the man of her dreams, wanting her love story to finally happen. She has tried all the avenues that most of us (until recently maybe) wouldn't try. She's going through life on her terms without considering what God might want for her. She is the ultimate romantic (hopeless or otherwise) and everybody who knows her knows this about her. What is a woman to do when a mysterious man shows up in her life; a man who says that he's God. This presents many interesting situations for Jessie as she talks to someone that only she can see, etc. The story has twists and turns as does life when we try to follow our format for it and not the format (path) picked out for us by our Creator. Many good characters, fun scenarios, and great details.

    I have a problem or two or more with this story. Normally, I try very hard to be very positive when I write my reviews, but I struggle to do that with some parts of this book. I guess my trouble comes from the fact that I want all Christian fiction to be entirely Christian. Not to say that Christians don't have their stumbling blocks (myself included). The issues for me from this book are Jessie's sister (who has lived with one guy after another for some time now), Jessie's decision to move in with someone, Jessie's need to get drunk, and even Blake's shallowness when it comes to women. The other thing that bothers me is that Jessie hasn't had a relationship with God for years, if ever. At one point, we find out that she hasn't set foot in a church in 14 years or so, yet God comes into her life to write her love story. I guess for me the state of one's heart in terms of their relationship with Christ is more pressing, but maybe I'm missing the purpose of this story or overanalyzing it when that much analysis was never what the authors wanted. I believe truly that God wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives. He loves His children (His creation) and wants to be involved in us, but we have a tendency to limit His involvement. Truly, I believe this saddens Him. So, from that point of view, I can see where the authors want us to see that God truly is concerned for us, wants to guide us, counsel us, reprimand us, praise us, enjoy us, etc. I find that there is so much more that I could say about this story, but I don't want to tear about what really was an entertaining, fun, unique story full of interesting characters with human aspects we can each certainly relate to. I did find the book funny, intriguing, and hard to put down. Check it out and tell me what you think.

    Disclaimer: This book was provided free for review by WaterBrook Press.
  5. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    Mixed Feelings
    May 1, 2011
    Jennifer @ Quiverfullfamily.com
    Quality: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Jessie Stone has been obsessed with marriage since the time she was seven. Her obsessive-compulsive tendencies paired with a high level of emotional neediness have combined to leave her single at the age of 35. She's desperate and it shows. When God shows up in her life (quite literally) and asks her to surrender to Him she reluctantly follows while impatiently waiting for Him to write her love story.

    Never the Bride was originally a screenplay by Cheryl McKay that has been novelized by Rene Gutteridge. A quick, funny read this work clearly falls within the chick-lit genre. There is dating, kissing, love-gone-wrong, angst etc. and in the midst of it all, a God who is trying to steer a stubborn woman into His will.

    Even though Never the Bride was entertaining (I laughed out loud a few times) and delivered a message about God's love for the church, I felt that Jessie didn't grow a lot through her wrestling with God. Even up to the climax of the story she was throwing tantrums because she couldn't have her own way. The only reason she seemed happy in the end was because God ‘delivered', not because she truly learned to be content in His will for her life.

    As a result I have mixed feelings about this book. Though fun to read it doesn't really place a strong value on waiting on God (because the main character never achieves this), and seems to endorse a casual dating culture. God also behaves in some strange and even corny ways (I winced a few times). Never the Bride makes a good beach/bathtub read, but not much more.
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