Love’s a Stage: a novel about making marriage last


Today marks the release of one of two novels coming out this fall as part of my partnership with Rene Gutteridge and now Redbud press. Both are based on my screenplays. This first one is called Love’s a Stage. After I got married, I started to notice a lot of marriages around us crumbling. I wanted to explore themes of what it means to keep vows and how to make marriage last. My quirky, yet good-hearted lead character may go through great lengths (sometimes comically) to save a marriage while also learning along the way what it takes to make a marriage work and to find lasting true love.

Hope you enjoy the read and to one day bring you the feature film version:

Love’s a Stage (Hometown Romance) (KINDLE)

SYNOPSIS for Love’s a Stage:

Grad 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.

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Later this fall, our other novella will be out. We participated in a book of novellas called The Boy Next Door, where all the authors wrote different love stories about falling for the boy next door. The one Rene Gutteridge and I wrote is called O Little Town of Bethany.

We’ll let ya know when it’s out.

Both projects have scripts available for production.

Here’s a sneak peek at the cover:

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Celebrating Marriage, Making Memories

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Every year, we celebrate our anniversary by taking a trip away instead of giving each other gifts. Given that we are both “quality timers” in the love language department–with gifts as a low priority–this has worked well for us. We’d rather save our resources toward focused time away with each other.

My husband edited together a video / slideshow of this year’s trip to share the beauty of California. Since we’ll be leaving the state of California soon and Highway 1 is our favorite place to visit on earth thus far, we decided to extend this particular anniversary trip to see more of it before we go.

My encouragement to those who are married is to take is take the time to celebrate milestones, like anniversaries. Take the time to build precious memories together. Never forget to have fun together or remember if you have kids that you are spouses first, parents second. One of the topics we speak about to married couples is making sure you have good memories to look back on so that if you ever hit a rough patch in your marriage, you have good memories to draw on to remind you of how it can get better. It’s kind of like with God, when we go through a dry patch where we wonder where He is, and it “seems” like He’s absent. When we have memories with God to draw back on when He was faithful to us, they can carry our faith through until we sense His presence again–if we let it.

Have you ever seen the picture within a picture idea on Pinterest, where they suggest you take a photo of yourself on each anniversary holding last year’s anniversary photo? By 50 years you’ll have yourself in the image 50x. All four of our photos so far have been from Highway 1. It’ll be an adventure to see what those pictures will be in the future as we leave here. It’s never too late to start one of these. Now, go make some great memories with your spouse.


Roadschooling Adventures

My sister, her husband, and two boys (Jake, 10 & Jesse, 8) are becoming a Roadschooling family, for the next couple of years. They got rid of most of their possessions and their 2000 square footage home, and moved into an RV with 400 square feet of space. I so respect their desire to spend more time together as a family and while their boys are young enough to enjoy all that togetherness. And what a great history lesson this will be.  She was already home schooling them. This just brings it all to a new level. You know I’m working on a screenplay called Roadschooling, right? :-) I mean, she’ll have such great material to give me.

If you’d like to follow their adventures, click the link here: Moving into the RV.

Song of Springhill, a love story & labor of love

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Check out the blog I posted on my writing website about my new novel, Song of Springhill: a love story. It’s a story that comes from my family, and includes the mining disaster my grandfather survived and a God who showed up and allowed for some of the most miraculous rescues.

Originally posted on Cheryl McKay (Screenwriter/Book Author):

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I feel like I’ve been living in the 1950s for the past little while, so enjoying looking up details about cars, Christmas decorations, clothes, popular music and dances, and other styles of the time period. That’s one of the many joys of being a writer…being able to dive into another world, setting, time period. (I’ve been listening to this great 1950s music mix!) I was even tempted to buy a poodle skirt and a hula hoop. What an era that must have been to grow up in.

It feels like I’ve been working on this project for a long time because…well, I have. My dad had told me for years (in the 90s) that I should try to find a story to tell centering on the Springhill coal mining disasters, including the big one my grandfather survived. It took me a while to listen to him. (Sorry…

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Spirit of Springhill: Miners, Wives, Widows, Rescuers & Their Children Tell True Stories of Springhill’s Coal Mining Disasters

Check out my blog about the miraculous rescues from the Springhill Mine Disasters:

Spirit of Springhill: Miners, Wives, Widows, Rescuers & Their Children Tell True Stories of Springhill’s Coal Mining Disasters.

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Inside the Writer’s Mind

Originally posted on Cheryl McKay (Screenwriter/Book Author):

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Have you ever wondered what authors were thinking when they wrote a particular story? For us, Greetings from the Flipside is far from conventional storytelling. Rene Gutteridge and I share about our new story in the following video:


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What is your destiny?

Originally posted on Cheryl McKay (Screenwriter/Book Author):

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I went to a women’s conference this weekend in Los Angeles, CA called Ascend. This year’s focus: Fearless Joy.

One of the speakers, Deborah Pegues, said: “You were designed for destiny.” She also shared that in reference to how God sees us, “You are perfect for My purpose.” She encouraged everyone to embrace their uniqueness, not criticize themselves for flaws and imperfections. I loved one illustration she specifically had about writing. She said, “Is there anyone out there who feels destined to write a book?” Quite a few women raised their hands. She encouraged them to sit down in that chair in front of the computer and say, “Lord, I’ll be your typist. What’cha got?” Deborah never intended to be a writer, but kept sensing particular messages she was supposed to put out there, and now she has a book and speaking career.

One big difference with me is that…

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