September 27, 2013

Dr. Seuss, Cave Divers, and Dark Chocolate: An Interview (& Giveaway) with Dani Pettrey

About a year and a half ago, I started hearing buzz about a new romantic suspense author named Dani Pettrey. Her first book was releasing soon and it took place in Alaska. Since I have relatives in Alaska and have visited, I was immediately intrigued. Plus, I love suspense and I love romance, so I decided to check her books out. I'm so glad I did!

Dani's third book in her Alaskan Courage series, Stranded, released September 1. I read it in one sitting, it was that good. (And besides all that, I got to meet Dani this year at a writer's conference and she was just the sweetest!) Dani graciously agreed to answer some questions for me and give away a copy to one reader. See details of the giveaway below!

Here's a bit about Dani:
Dani is a wife, homeschooling mom, and author of the acclaimed Alaskan Courage series. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves -- the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of her characters' faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters. Visit her website at www.danipettrey.com.

LH: Hi, Dani! Welcome here. So, tell me about the first story you ever wrote. How old were you, what was it about, and what was your inspiration for it?

DP: It's funny you should ask. I was going through a memory box of my mom's a few months back and I found what had to be one of the first stories I ever wrote. It was a book titled My Book About Me by Dr. Seuss. It asks a variety of questions which I answered when I was six. The funny part was how my answers evolved into stories. My husband and girls were with me and we were laughing so hard. Guess I started storytelling young. :)

LH: I wrote my first book when I was six too! So, since that first story, how has your writing journey unfolded? Tell us about the lowest low and the highest high along the way.

DP: I've always loved daydreaming and making up stories and I jotted several down, but rarely finished any. I always got sidetracked with a new one or time with friends. I wrote a lot of poetry in high school and did some creative writing, but it wasn't until a bout with a serious illness a number of years ago that I really felt God stirring me to write seriously. From that point, I spent seven years learning how to write before receiving my first contract. The wait was hard, but it truly was the book of my heart that sold and I couldn't be more thrilled.

LH: And what a book it was! Whas was the first piece of your Alaskan Courage series that was solid in your mind before you started writing it?

DP: The Alaskan Courage series started with me watching a movie about cave divers. I thought, who would do something so dangerous and exciting for a living? I've always been fascinated by adventure athletes and I thought, why not write a series about them?

LH: The books have definitely been exciting to read! They must have been exciting to research too. So, what theme is prominent in Stranded and why did you choose it?

DP: I never start out with a theme in mind. I always wait to see what it is after the story is written. In Stranded, I would say the theme is hope. Hope that God can heal our hurts. Hope that He will give us a future. Hope that He has our time in His hands.

LH: Okay, time for a few random questions. Would you rather winter in Alaska or spend the summers in Arizona (where I live, coincidentally)? Why?

DP: Summer in Arizona. I'm a summer girl through and through. I did live in New Mexico for a number of years so I don't mind the dry heat at all. :)

LH: Awesome! That'd be my answer too, but I'm slightly biased in that way. :) Okay, one more, and this may be a hard one. If you could only have one treat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

DP: Dark chocolate, hands down.

Thanks so much for being here, Dani! I hope everyone here reads Stranded and loves it as much as I did!

When her friend goes missing, every minute counts. Darcy St. James returns to Alaska to join a journalist friend undercover on the trail of a big story. But when Darcy arrives, she finds her friend has disappeared. Troubled by the cruise ship's vague explanation, Darcy uses her cover as a travel reporter to investigate further.

The last person Gage McKenna expects to see during his summer aboard a cruise ship leading adventure excursions is Darcy. And in typical Darcy fashion, she's digging up more trouble. He'd love to just forget her -- but something won't let him. And he can't help but worry about her as they are heading into more remote regions of Alaska and eventually into foreign waters. Something sinister is going on, and the deeper they push, the more Gage fears they've only discovered the tip of the iceberg.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Dani is offering up a copy of Stranded, and there are lots of ways to be entered to win! Use the Rafflecopter box below to enter by
  • Liking Dani's Facebook page
  • Liking my Facebook page
  • Sharing via Twitter
  • Sharing via Facebook
  • Leaving a blog comment
The contest is open to U.S. residents only, and ends October 3 at midnight.

Your Turn: If you could only have one treat for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

44 comments:

  1. Loved, loved Stranded! I think Gage is my favorite McKenna so far. :)

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    1. Thanks, Melissa! Thrilled you loved Gage. He's a fav of mine :)

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    2. I really liked Piper too, but as far as the guys go, I loved Gage as well!

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  2. I can hardly wait to read this series! Thanks for introducing us.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Edie :)

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    2. You're welcome! It's a fun and suspense-filled ride.

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  3. I haven't read this series yet either, but I need to! And I'm with Dani, my one treat would be: dark chocolate, maybe over pomegranate seeds. Yum!

    What a fun interview!

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    1. Like the idea of dark chocolate over pomegranate seeds. Going to have to give that a try :)

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    2. Okay, I've never eaten pomegranate seeds but this sounds like something I must try!

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  4. Hi Dani!
    I'm with you, definitely dark chocolate. I haven't had the chance to read Stranded yet, but it's on my TBR pile.

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    1. Hey Jessica,
      Hope you'll really enjoy Stranded. Loved getting to get to spend some time with you in Indy :)

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  5. Dani I love your series! Romantic suspense is my favorite genre. Lindsay is my supplier of good books. ;-) I'm so so glad she introduced me to your books! I can't wait for the next one!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Rachel! Thrilled you're enjoying the series. And, big thanks to Lindsay for sharing :)

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    2. So fun to see you comment on here, Rach!!

      And I knew you'd love Dani's books, what with your love of all things romantic suspense. :P

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  6. Great series! I just finished Stranded this morning. Looking forward to more!

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    1. Waving hi, CoraLee. Thrilled you enjoyed Stranded. Thanks so much for stopping by for the interview.

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    2. Me too! I can't wait for Kayden and Jake's story...

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  7. I love this this series! :)

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  8. Thanks so much for being my guest today, Dani! I can't wait to see who the lucky winner is!

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  9. One treat. Hmmmmm. That is a toughie, but I think I am with you on dark chocolate.

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    1. I know....picking one was oh so hard, but it's got to be chocolate :D

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    2. See, I like dark chocolate, but I think I'd go with ice cream. I mean, I live in Phoenix, so...

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  10. I loved Stranded! Gage is the most intriguing character!

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    1. Thrilled you enjoyed Stranded and Gage :)

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    2. Isn't he, though? I loved the different sides of him: adventurous and slightly hardened...but with a soft, sweet side.

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  11. Chocolate covered strawberries- yum!

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    1. That's delicious too, especially when I'm in the mood for something lighter.

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  13. Thanks so much for sharing and the giveaway! And the fun interview!

    Hmmm....hard question....maybe ice cream? Or cheesecake? It's tough. Or egg custards.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the interview :)

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    2. You're so welcome! Thanks for stopping by. And all of those choices sound yummy...and are making me hungry. :)

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  14. Loving this series . . . one treat would be dark chocolate chex mix.

    Can't wait to see whose story is next!

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    1. So glad you're loving the series, Carol! Thanks so much for stopping by :)

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    2. Isn't it a fun series? I like that we get connected with all of the family members and that they all get their own story.

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  15. That's a tough choice, but I would have to choose some type of chocolate. Thanks for the giveaway!!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Randi! And yes, I think most people would agree with your choice of sweet. :)

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  16. If I could only have one treat? That's a tough question... I think it would have to be Dove Chocolate. Thanks for the fun giveaway!

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    1. I know...it IS a tough question, right? :P Dove Chocolate is a great answer, though!

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