Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Review of "Snitch"

Here's the official review of "Snitch" from the CBA website! =)
I can't wait to read this one!

Old School meets New School meets Homeschool!

Just shy of retirement and a well-earned pension, Las Vegas Police Department Sergeant Ron Yeager's definition of "active duty" involves shifting his bad leg into a more comfortable position. But when he's requested from his mind-numbing desk job to head an undercover auto theft task force, the former narcotics officer determines to prove he's still got the right stuff.That is...until he meets his unlikely team of officers. As Yeager soon finds out, not all the crazies are on the street.

An undercover rookie, the audaciously honest Mackenzie "Mack" Hazard sends Yeager's blood pressure skyrocketing by wearing her faith like an ever-present badge. Then there's Jesse Lunden, a maverick undercover officer who refuses to learn anything from an old guy with a cane. Can this tangle of egos and eccentrics be trained into a lean, mean, crime-fighting machine...even while they are being drawn into something much bigger and more dangerous than anyone imagined?

In her trademark style, Rene Gutteridge blends zany, original characters, sincere faith, and surprising plot twists into one hilariously addictive read.

"Snitch is an engaging crime novel, balanced between sheer whimsy and genuine human drama."....CHRIS WELL, author of Tribulation House.

"A wonderful, fully developed ensemble cast makes Snitch an entertaining, engaging read. Rene's flair for a comedic, well-turned phrase shines here. Snitch is worth snatching."...SUSAN MEISSNER, author of Widows and Orphans

Rene Gutteridge is the author of several novels, including Ghost Writer (Bethany House Publishers) The Boo Series (WaterBrook Press) and the Storm Series, (Tyndale House Publishers. She will release three novels in 2006: Storm Surge (Tyndale) My Life as a Doormat (WestBow Press, Women of Faith)Occupational Hazards Book #1: Scoop (WaterBrook Press). She has also been published over thirty times as a playwright, best known for her Christian comedy sketches. Rene studied screenwriting under a Mass Communications degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University, and earned the "Excellence in Mass Communication" award. She served as the full-time Director of Drama for First United Methodist Church for five years before leaving to stay home and write. She enjoys instructing at writer's conferences and in college classrooms. Rene lives with her husband, Sean, a musician, and their children in Oklahoma City.

So get your copy today!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Double Mondays With a Shot of Grace...

I realize the majority of my posts are writing related, but sometimes, a girl just needs to vent. Here's my blog for today from my Shoutlife page...

I'm writing this blog from the deep depths of a Double-Monday. You know, the type that comes when you enjoy a fantastic long weekend? The Tuesday after a holiday becomes a Monday again, but not just any Monday - an angry, bitter Monday, resentful over being skipped and determined to make an appearance with a vengeance!


4 crisis, (crisises? crisi?) and its only 10:30 a.m. One crisis solved, thank goodness. The other, apologized for and made up. A third...still hanging in the balance. And a fourth - we'll see if God grants me the grace necessary.

Grace - what a concept. I'm still trying to grasp it. I "get it", as a saved woman, of course, but I firmly believe there is a whole other layer there that our human minds will never fully grasp. A layer that threatens to steal my heart if I even try to picture it. A layer that brings me to my knees with tear-filled eyes and a heart gasping for the breath of God.

Please pray for me today, on this Double Monday, that I receive the shot of grace I need, no - crave. God is sufficient, and in my weakness, He is made strong.

It's everyone else I'm worried about.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Fun interview at Lori's blogsite!!

Hey guys!
One of my bestest chicas and fellow writer friend, Lori Chally, conducted a super fun interview with me on her blog!
Check it out here! (you won't regret it, her blog is really cute!!)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Broadcast, recorded live, featuring...ME! =)

Hey guys!

A really cool place called "Scribbler's Lounge" did a live phone interview with earlier today about my writing, and its posted now on their website. Here's the link!

This link takes you to their main page. Scroll down slighty, you'll see my picture. Click on the play arrow that says "listen now" and it'll take you to a page where you click the play arrow beside my name one more time. =)


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Interview with Melody Carlson!

It is my pleasure to interview Melody Carlson today on my blog! Melody is an award-winning, best-selling author of over NINETY books! Whew, when does she have time to breathe?? She writes for adults, children, and teens, and reaches so many hearts for the Lord. She's truly an inspiration, and it is an honor to have her with us today!

Betsy: Welcome Melody! Tell us, when did you first realize you wanted to be an author?

Melody: I’d always loved writing, but felt that becoming an “author of published books” was probably, like, the impossible dream. However, about the time my boys were entering their teens, I got this burning desire to write. I had no idea if my writing was publishable or not, but I didn’t even care. I just wanted to write. I joined a critique group and after a year or so had managed to write a number of books. Then I had to learn how to “market” them to publishers. Writing came easy, but selling my books (at first) was difficult.

Betsy: You're most recognized in the world of YA, though you have several contemporary romances, as well. What is your favorite genre to write?

Melody: Whatever I’m working on at the time. Mostly I love telling stories about characters that I can relate to, characters who are believable and facing big challenges. Sometimes I enjoy digging into a serious tale like my grownup novel Finding Alice (which is about schizophrenia and will be a Lifetime movie this year). And sometimes, like right now, I enjoy writing something much lighter and funnier like chick lit. Although I do worry that I might “confuse” my readers – like who is this writer really? I guess I’m just diverse.

Betsy: Whatever works! We'll keep reading either way ::grin:: So, who are a few of your favorite authors? And books?

Melody: I like reading women’s contemporary fiction—stories about women’s lives and issues and daily living. I like Elizabeth Berg, Anne Tyler, Francine Rivers, Lisa Samson, Anne Rivers Siddons.

Betsy: What inspired you to start writing?

Melody: Like I said, it was a deep inner urge. I felt like I couldn’t “not write.” Also, shortly before this, I remember shopping for books with my older son, who was a voracious reader, but only thirteen and wanting to read Stephen King. I wanted to find some decent young adult books, but there was a huge gap in the Christian market, and the only fiction available in the general trade YA seemed extremely dark, violent, and frightening. I remember being in the bookstore and reading a chapter of one of these objectionable books and thinking, “Man, I think I can write that badly.” Okay, that’s not very flattering to me or the other author, but in a twisted way it was inspiring to me.

Betsy: Haha! Well, Melody, tell us about your own personal spiritual journey.

Melody: I didn’t grow up in “church-going” home. And I didn’t really know what made a person a Christian. But at the age of twelve I decided that God did not exist and proclaimed myself an atheist. For the next few years I went through a pretty rebellious era (although I maintained good grades and was considered a “leader” type of student) I was questioning everything and, I think, wishing someone would show me the Truth. Then one summer, just before starting my sophomore year, several classmates were killed in a car wreck and I was obsessed with wanting to know what happened after we died. For the first time I became very aware of mortality and I didn’t think I wanted to cease to exist (like my God-less theology). That night I “prayed” that if God was real, he would reveal himself to me. About a month later, he did. I was kidnapped to a Young Life meeting where, for the first time, the gospel was presented to me—and resonated. After a few more meetings, lots of questions, it gelled and I invited Jesus into my heart. My life did a total 180 and I was sold out for God.

Betsy: Wow, that's so awesome! Tell us, what's a typical writing day in the life of Melody Carlson?

Melody: I head to my office around eight-ish, do my email while getting caught up on the morning news then usually start into “serious” writing around nine—ten if it’s a busy email day. Sometime around noon, I take a lunch break, often with my hubby. Then return to work for the remainder of the afternoon, although I do take a break to walk with a friend for about an hour three days a week. I usually write until five, unless I’m crunching a deadline. And I try not to work weekends.

Betsy: Your series, "The Secret Life of Samantha McGregor" is so fun to read! And so different, in that the main character has visions. What inspired you to compose these books? Have you received any negative feedback on this series because of its slightly edgy plot line?

Melody: Teen girls seem to have a strong interest in the “supernatural.” Statistically, the vast majority of teens (even Christians) dabble in something. And I remember being curious at that age too. But it occurred to me that God is the most supernatural force in the universe. Why not give him some attention in this regard? So, using the form of fiction, I created Samantha—but I made sure that this girl was firmly grounded in God—and I “gifted” her with the ability to receive dreams and visions from God. She uses her gift to help others, including solving crimes. The main intent of the premise is to encourage readers to see God in a bigger, more powerful way. We included lots of scripture, disclaimers, instruction to ensure that readers don’t assume that God might gift them in the same way. And I try to point out, through story, that there are lots of gifts from God. I haven’t gotten any negative feedback yet, but lots of interest and question. And this is, after all, fiction, so hopefully no one will take it too seriously.

Betsy: Your series "Diary of a Teenage Girl" was and continues to be a huge hit! Did the success take you off guard? How do you handle it?

Melody: I was totally surprised. Actually, when I did the “first” book, I thought that would be it. A stand alone book. I never dreamed it would go on and on like this. Good thing I’m a fast and prolific writer...because those readers can’t seem to get them quickly enough. There are thirteen books written and we just decided to bring out a fourth character, who is really interesting and introduced in the Kim series. But I think it’ll end there.

Betsy: Have you received positive feedback from teenagers sharing how your books have touched them or helped them? If so, can you share a few anonymous messages?

Melody: The most amazing feedback I get and (I have received a LOT of these letters) is when girls write, saying specifically that “when Caitlin (or Chloe or Kim) gave her heart to the Lord, I did the same thing, I got down on my knees and invited Jesus into my heart...”. That just blows me away and I have to give God the credit.

Betsy: How inspiring! Wow. Any words of advice to aspiring authors? Any do's or don'ts of the business?

Melody: First of all, I encourage them to write-write-write – even if it doesn’t get published at first or ever. You learn so much by doing that...and then by doing it again and again. Also, join a good critique group and/or take writing classes and attend writers’ conferences. And make sure you’re reading a lot of excellent books, the kind you aspire to write. And, if your goal is to publish, develop thick skin and be willing to enter smaller markets (like newspapers, magazines...) to start with because it will build up your bio.

Betsy: Great advice, Melody. What can readers look forward to seeing from you next?

Melody: As usual, I have something for everyone. Well, almost. I have a new chick lit book called These Boots aren’t Made for Walking releasing from WaterBrook next month. I also have a Christmas novella coming soon (An Irish Christmas from Baker) and a new teen series called The Carter House Girls from Zondervan releases next year (edgy and funny) and a new juvenile series (a first for me) called The Girls of 622 Harbor View (also from Zondervan) and right now I’m working on a fun new series for 20-something readers called 86 Bloomberg Place.

Betsy: It all sounds so great! Thanks for joining us today, Melody! It's been a joy.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Chick lit moment, anyone?

Anyone out there read or write chick-lits? If you do, then you know exactly what I mean when I refer to "chick lit moments". My life is so full of them!! lol

For instance, take last Saturday night. I helped host a bachelorette party for my good friend Courtney. We went out to eat, (including her mom, grandmothers, etc.!) and had a great time at the mexican restaurant! We all wore pink feather boas, had silly masks, made the bride wear a tiara and veil, etc. Good clean fun!

Then we left there and the bridesmaids went on a scavenger hunt for wedding items. (something blue, a bridal magazine, rice, etc.) Then we landed back at Courtney's house for games and a ton of junk food. The other girls were going to spend the night, but I needed to get home for church the next day, we had something big planned, so I came home after the games were over - at 1:45 a.m. Not a problem - Courtney lives only about 7 minutes from my own house and its a pretty straight shot down one loonnng cut-through street.

Side note - since Courtney is a friend of the family, my mother is the one decorating Courtney's hotel room the night of her wedding. So, the bride's aunt loads up my car with His & Her robes, tea light candles, rose petals, etc. for me to pass to my mom later.

Well, there is construction going on at the big intersection between my house and Courtney's, so I had to drive around it about a mile and cut over a railroad track. I got a little spooked, because I looked both ways, no train, no lights, etc. crossed over, turned on the road parallel to the tracks (kinda wooded) and....train! Out of nowhere! Very weird. I shake it off, keep driving, and...a black cat runs in front of my car! I'm not a superstitious girl but I mean, at 1:45 a.m., alone, on a dark, wooded street beside a train track (of which there are rumors in my city that is haunted) then...the cat was just a little much! I was going to call and talk to my hubby on the way home, but I left my phone in my purse in the backseat, and couldn't reach it without stopping the car...and obviously THAT was not an option! So, I keep going.

I reach the next intersection, which is nothing but woods and two run-down, beat-up gas stations. (both closed for the night) I stop at the red light, and the hair on my arms stands straight up. I am so freaked out! I turn off the radio and start singing hymns. I look both ways - no cars. Nothing. Light is still red. I remember something my daddy taught me a long time ago - if you have a bad feeling, and you're alone, and its late - then just go.

So I went.

A few moments later, I notice a white car on my tail. I stare at the roof of it in my rearview mirror and notice the tall light stand.


He rides my tail for a minute then starts flashing the lights.

My heart sinks. My palms go slick. I have NEVER been pulled over before. Almost 8 years of driving, and never been stopped for anything, ever. Not once. I'm a mess. (and still freaked out! My writer's imagination is going strong! "what if that's not a real cop? what if that's a mass murderer with a fake light and a really big gun and..."

I pull over into a LIT gas station at the next intersection, and try to remember what to do. Hands on wheel. Breathe. Smile. Stop crying. Relax. Don't throw up.

Forget it, I'm hysterical.

The officer strolls to the window and peeks inside. "You couldn't have waited just 3 more seconds for that light, could you little lady?" Then he sees my face and I promise you, he tries to hide a laugh! I must have looked like a deer caught in headlights. He waits for an explanation.
I blubber one out. "I'm sorry, I know it was wrong, I totally ran that light, I was scared, I had such a bad feeling, was just so scared, I'm alone, trying to go home, my husband's waiting for me, I was just scared!"

By then another cop joins the first one at the window, both kind, grandfatherly types, and the second one takes his walkie talkie off his hip. :::Squawk::: "Yep, she was scared." ::Squawk:: I'm mortified - who was he telling???? And still crying, by the way.

"License and registration, ma'am."

I fumble for the glove box, shaking so bad I can barely open it. I'm in my new car and not sure what the paperwork looks like, so I hand him what I think it is and squeak "Is that it?" And he again tries not to laugh as he nods. "Yes ma'am."

The second cop leans in the window again. "We've had a lot of wrecks at that intersection, miss. We don't want to see you airlifted out of there because you ran a light and had a wreck."

I shake my head so fast my hair whips in front of my face and sticks to my tears. "No sir, I don't want that either!" I'm almost wailing.

"What were you scared of, miss?"

"Just had a bad feeling. I'm alone and it's late and I got spooked earlier, and just wanted to get home." I told the cop what my dad had always told me about going through the light if I feel as if I'm in danger. I finished with "I just had such a bad feeling, like I was being watched."

The second cop cracks up. I mean, stomach-holding cracks up! "Well, that's probably because we were the ones watching you!"

After that, the first cop taps the window base of my car and (still holding back a grin, I could just tell!) says "All right, little lady, you just be more careful next time."

"Yes sir. Thank you, sirs."

I roll up my window, turn to put my registration up - and through my tears see the bottle of wine on my floorboard that was part of the honeymoon package from the bride's aunt. WHOOPS. It was closed, which I think means its legal to have in the car, but I'm so relieved those nice officers didn't see it! It probably would have given my story much less merit. (especially seeing how Saturday night was Cinco de Mayo, so drunks were out in full force!)

Whew. I made it home after that, safe and sound, with quite the story for my hubby.

And trust me, my husband had a LOT of fun telling my sunday school class the next morning that I was pulled over for the first time in my life for running a red light, at 1:45 a.m., on the way home from a bachelorette party, on Cinco de Mayo, with a bottle of wine on the floorboard.

So, yes. Chick lit moments abound!!!! Sigh.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Interview with Christopher Griffith!

Today I was given the privilege of interviewing Christopher Griffith! Chris is a new Christian fantasy author with a strong heart for God! His debut novel, "Jayden's Journey" is now available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I'll provide links, but first let's meet Chris!

Betsy: Welcome, Chris! It's good to have you with us today. Tell us a little about the plot of your debut novel, "Jayden's Journey."

Chris: "Jayden's Journey" is actually the prequel to the Battle for the Sacred Realm series. Sort of like what The Hobbit was to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. "Jayden's Journey" gives the reader an insight into Jayden's (the character the series centers around) life prior to and leading up to his calling to help defend the Sacred Realm. I wanted the readers to really get to know Jayden so they would be able to relate to him throughout the series.

Betsy: Sounds great! So, how many books will be in the final series?

Chris: The series will consist of four books, including "Jayden's Journey."

Betsy: What are your plans for publishing the remainder books? Do you see yourself using Publish America again?

Chris: Since books 2,3 & 4 tie into each other, I am going to hold off on finding a publisher until the series is complete. I am hoping in doing this, more companies will be open to signing me on. As far as PublishAmerica, I did not have a problem with them, at all. They were very helpful to me, being it was my first time to be published. However, for the remainder of the series, I am hoping to sign on with someone bigger.

Betsy: Makes sense. So, what was it like seeing your book in print for the first time?

Chris: To be honest, I knew when the book came out that my work was far from over. Don't get me wrong, it was great to see my first project transformed into a book, but on the other hand, God has called me to write a series, and I still have a long way to go in my own journey of completing that calling.

Betsy: Tell us a little about your own personal spiritual journey.

Chris: Imagine riding on one of those old wooden roller coasters at an amusement park. Up and down, up and down...and very bumpy throughout. That is my spiritual journey in a nutshell. However, it is by God's grace I am where I am today.

Betsy: Quick - name three of your favorite fiction authors.

Chris: Definitely C.S. Lewis, he's at the top for me. Then I'd have to put J.R. Tolkien in that list along with Ted Dekker.

Betsy: Excellent choices! So, what does a 'day in the life of Christopher Griffith" consist of?

Chris: Nothing out of the ordinary. Wake up, spend some time in the word, feed my little girl breakfast, go to work, come home, spend time with the family. If it is Wednesday I am in front of the TV by 10 to watch LOST. I'm a family first kind of guy so I try and spend as much time with my wife and daughter as I can.

Betsy: What is your biggest writing goal right now?

Chris: Right now, finish the BSR series.

Betsy: When were you first inspired to write Christian fiction?

Chris: About two years ago. I was watching the Lord of the Rings on DVD and out of nowhere felt a desire spurn in my heart to write a series. After a couple days of praying about it, I knew God was calling me to spread His Gospel of Peace and Hope to the world through this story He has blessed me with. It has been an honor to be used by Him and it has truly been a humbling experience, to say the least.

Betsy: Any other ideas cooking, othan than finishing this series?

Chris: I'm actually in talks with a production company to write some movie scripts for them. My true passion is to be a screenwriter, however if the Lord calls me to write another book/series after BSR is complete, than so be it.My closing.

Betsy: Wow, sounds fantastic! Well, thanks for visiting us today, Chris! It's great to have you.

Chris: Anytime Betsy, God Bless!

Check out Christopher Griffith's website here!

And for a link to purchase "Jayden's Journey", go here!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Writing from the heart...

So I just finished watching tonight's episode of Gilmore Girls (yes, I'm a diehard fan, and no, I don't agree with all the morals in the show, but hey, give me a break - its a great story, with fantastic, witty dialogue, and characters that weasel their way into your heart and take root!) and I'm once again in awe (and more than a little irritated) with the screenwriters.


I won't give away any details, in case someone missed tonight's episode, but I discovered something tonight that I want...and don't know how to get. I long to make the readers of my stories feel the same intense, drop-everything, scream-at-the-TV (book) emotion that I get watching this show. I mean, seriously. When Luke looks at Loralei, MY heart flutters! When she bears her soul, I get nervous. When a vacation is cancelled, I'm disappointed. I'm somewhat involved, to say the least.

How do they DO that???

Honestly, tonight, during the karaoke scene toward the end, emotion balled up in my throat so tightly I couldn't breathe. I'm staring at the screen through a film of tears, feeling my heart break in two as Loralei's is certainly doing...and when the last note ends, my tears overflow and start dripping off my chin and onto my sweatshirt and I'm sobbing and cutting more brownies from the pan and screaming "I HATE THIS SHOW" as I eagerly wait for the commerical to bring the "sneak peek for next week"...

Again, I ask - HOW DO THEY DO THAT? And more importantly, how can I do that? I want to have that effect on my readers, not for the sake of feeling as if I accomplished some goal, or "look what I did" type of thing, but because it makes the viewer/reader FEEL. I want my readers to feel. To anaylze. To touch that inner emotion, be reached... To ponder things they've shoved deep down. To dream again.

And if I can do those things, but put God into that


Maybe that doesn't make much sense. Maybe its just me! My poor, means-well hubby just said to me "uh, baby, its just a show". Grrrr. (luckily, there weren't sharp objects lying around). But for those of you who do understand, what do you think?

New article posted on Crosswalk...

Good morning, everyone!

Just wanted to share that my newest article is now posted on!
Here's the link - I think you'll all enjoy it.