What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Inspirational novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Rene Gutteridge and Free Books!

The Santa Claus Chronicles details heartwarming and humorous stories from Dan Short’s thirty-year journey of being a real-life Santa.

This week we have a Christmas bonus: we're featuring two wonderful authors and their books, along with two book giveaways! Be sure to check out our interview with author Allen Steadham, below. 

Before we chat with our first author, I want to announce that the winner of the free copy of Laura Hilton's contemporary Amish romance novel, The Amish Wedding Promise, is:


Congratulations! We'll get your book right out to you. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to learn about new releases! U.S. subscribers are entered in the drawings a second time when they comment.

And now let's meet novelist Rene Gutteridge, author of the nonfiction book, The Santa Claus Chronicles (Harvest House Publishers, October 2019).

Rene Gutteridge is the author of more than 20 novels and books, in a writing career that has spanned two decades.

She is also a screenwriter. Her novel My Life as a Doormat became a popular Hallmark movie called Love’s Complicated. She works as head writer at Skit Guys Studios and is co-director of the writing conference WriterCon in Oklahoma City as well as the writing organization Write Well Sell Well.

Rene lives in Oklahoma City with her family.

Please tell us a random thing we might not know about you.

I almost went into law enforcement.

I'm sure that interest colors some of your writing, especially the suspense novels!

Please tell us a bit more about The Santa Claus Chronicles.

This book was birthed out of my complete fascination with Santa Dan. I didn’t know him personally for many years, but took my kids to see him faithfully every Christmas. And every Christmas I wondered…what is it with this guy? He’s special. He’s deep. There’s something more to him than a man who dresses up as Santa.

I got my answer many years later, when I received the surprise of my life as he walked into a writer’s conference I was teaching at. From that day on, I called him friend and had the great delight of discovering why his eyes really twinkle. You’ll find the answer in this book.

What a perfect book for the season. Why will readers enjoy your book?

Readers will enjoy this book because it’s a peek behind the curtain. It’s the life of Santa that nobody ever gets to see. And it’s incredibly fascinating. You’ll learn how real-beard Santas go through training, what they do when they encounter hostile parents at the mall, and the immense wisdom they must work under to answer some of children’s hardest and most heartfelt questions.

By the way, children aren’t the only ones who feel drawn toward Santa…you’ll get to read some beautiful stories of how Santa interacts with adults too, including one of the last living “code talkers,” who, in his final days of life, wanted to get a visit from Santa.

Sounds intriguing and heartwarming, Rene.

What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? What do you struggle with?

I immensely enjoy writing so that hasn’t been a struggle for me. The business of writing is harder. I have to discipline myself not to sit down to write, but rather to organize my writing world so it can be maintained and meet the standards it needs to, from social media to accounting.

Oh, I hear you. Why can't we just write, right?

What is the last book you read that moved you?

Oh, so many! I think I’d have to say Midnight in Chernobyl, by Adam Higginbotham. Reading the detailed account of the men who risked everything to save their fellow citizens was extremely moving. I was especially stricken by how they knew what they were risking—the kind of death they would succumb to—and they went in anyway. It’s an astonishing kind of bravery.

I imagine that's both a difficult and an inspiring read. I watched the first episode of Chernobyl on HBO and simply couldn't make myself watch more. Those poor people. 

What are you working on now?

I’ve just finished up a feature script on the 2013 F-5 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. I’ve worked on it for six years and it feels great to have it finished and ready to send out.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

Instagram: Rene_Gutteridge
Facebook: ReneGutteridgeAuthor
Twitter: @ReneGutteridge

The book can be purchased online via the following button:

Readers, while we're in the Christmas spirit, what's one of your favorite Christmas books or films, and why? If you'd like to be entered in the drawing for Rene's book, answer my question in the comments section at the bottom of this post.

Thank you, Rene, for visiting and telling us about yourself and your book. Readers, as I said, Rene has offered to give away a free copy of her book. To enter, leave a comment and your email below in answer to my question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Remember that U.S. subscribers are entered an additional time in each drawing. The drawing is done by email, so leave your email address, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. 

Only United States residents are eligible for the drawing, but anyone can subscribe to the blog posts via the GDPA-compliant Feedblitz box above my list of books, at right.

Be sure to check out our bonus post below, featuring Allen Steadham and his Inspirational Science-Fantasy novel, Jordan's World! Allen will also be giving away a copy of his book to one of my readers/subscribers! The book would make an excellent Christmas gift to your Sci-Fi/Fantasy-loving family member(s).

Remember that Winged Publications is having a sale on its Christmas-themed novellas, novels, and collections. See the details HERE.

Also readers, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post title.

Annoying legal disclaimer: as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases; drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer, GDPA notice, and my Disclosure of Material Connection HERE


Unknown said...

Jan Karon 'Shepherds Abiding'is one of my favorite Christmas novels because it's set in such a quaint little town and gives you this peaceful Christmas feeling. The lives in the novels are never hurried, unlike what most of us are living during these days. They actually take time to enjoy the season and why we are supposed to celebrate Christmas.

Deana said...

My favorite Christmas movie is The Christmas Story. I love it because it is funny, entertaining and family oriented,

Trish Perry said...

Even though I've seen it to death, my favorite Christmas film remains It's a Wonderful Life, because clearly the point of the movie could be applied to the lives of any of us. Jesus was born here to live and die for us--He already showed us how precious He considers our lives. But still we forget, and It's a Wonderful Life emphasizes that our lives make differences we may never know about. I love that.

Anonymous said...

The Christmas Heirloom novella collection is my favorite Christmas novel this year. It’s amazing to me that such a small heirloom brooch could be passed along to ancestors through the ages. It was also passed along to those who weren’t necessarially worldy and rich, and Imloke that. I do love a pretty brooch, and the one on the cover is gorgeous!
perrianne (DOT) askew (AT) me (DOT) com
Perrianne Askew

Melanie Backus said...

I love It’s A Wonderful Life! Second chances are given and love abounds. Merry Christmas!
mauback55 at gmail dot com

Rene Gutteridge said...

Hi all! Good luck in the drawing! And thank you Trish for this giveaway! My favorite Christmas movie isn't even about Christmas, haha! But The Sound of Music always played around Christmas when I was a kid and I watched it every year. I still do!



Holly Magnuson said...

I think my favorite Christmas book is Melody Carlson's "Christmas at Harrington's" of course my favorite Christmas movie is Scrooged with Bill Murray!




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