Saturday, February 14, 2015


Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the acclaimed author of the Alaskan Courage romantic suspense series, which includes her bestselling novels Submerged,Shattered, Stranded, and Silenced, and new release, Sabotaged. Her books have been honored with the Daphne du Maurier award, two HOLT Medallions, two National Readers' Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing's Best Award, among others.  You can find her online at

SS: Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a wife, mom, grandma, and the author of the Alaskan Courage romantic suspense series. I feel blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things I love—the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. My husband and I reside in Maryland, where we enjoy time with our two daughters, son-in-law, and super adorable grandson.

SS: When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

I have always loved daydreaming and making up stories. I dabbled with creative writing growing up, but set it aside. It wasn’t until after the birth of my youngest daughter and a bout with a serious illness that I really felt God stirring me to start writing again.  

SS: What are some of the challenges you face as a writer? Are there aspects of your life that are hard for family and friends to understand? What are they?

The biggest challenge I find is trying to balance everything--taking care of my family, watching my grandson a couple days a week, maintaining close friendships, writing, researching and marketing. It’s definitely hard to juggle it all and my deepest prayer is for guidance on how to best balance everything God has so kindly entrusted me with. 

SS: How do you create characters? Are they based on people you know?

I’m not a plotter or a planner. I let a story premise percolate in my mind and the characters tend to come along with it,  or at least a very loose sketch of them. It isn’t until I complete my first (very messy) draft that I feel I know my characters.

There are parts of people I know in a number of my characters. For example, my hubby is the inspiration for one of the McKenna brothers, but only the inspiration. Once the story starts the characters take on a life of their own.

SS: Tell us about your current release.

Finally Returned Home, Reef McKeena
Finds His Beloved Alaska Facing Its Greatest Threat

Growing up, goody-two-shoes Kirra Jacobs and troublemaker Reef McKenna were always at odds. Now, working together as search-and-rescue for Alaska's arduous Iditarod race, a growing attraction seems to be forcing aside old arguments. Then Reef catches Kirra sneaking from camp in the middle of the night.

Kirra's uncle, a musher in the race, has disappeared. Kirra and Reef quickly track the man, but what they discover is harrowing: Frank's daughter has been kidnapped. Kirra and Reef, along with the entire McKenna family, are thrown into a race to stop a shadowy villain who is not only threatening a girl's life--but appears willing to unleash one of the largest disasters Alaska has ever seen.

SS: Where did you get the idea for this book?

I was inspired by the Iditarod sled dog race. It’s such a grueling test of determination and endurance. I really wanted to have the McKennas’ experience the Last Great Race before the series wrapped up.

SS: Tell us about your main character.

Reef McKenna has always been the black sheep of the family, but he’s ready to make amends and he’s found the perfect lady to start over with. The only problem? She’s known him since kindergarten. Convincing someone you’ve changed takes a lot more than words. Fortunately, being paired together in the adventure of a lifetime, Reef gets to show Kirra what he’s really made of.

SS: Is there a spiritual message in your book? If so, what is it?

The theme for Sabotaged is hope in the midst of brokenness. God is able to bring healing and hope despite the worst of circumstances. It doesn’t happen overnight most times, but if we trust Him and wait on Him, He is faithful to bring healing—to turn our mourning into dancing. It doesn’t mean that all our questions will be answered, but we can hold tight to the promise that He will provide the grace we need to get through, even if it’s simply the grace to make it through day by day. God is faithful. 

SS: What are you working on now?

I’m working on the first book in my new romantic suspense series—Chesapeake Valor. It is set in my neck of the woods and I’m so excited to share this gorgeous part of the country with readers, along with a brand new cast of characters!

SS: Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.

I’m extremely klutzy—not exaggerating.
I love European history.
I took archery lessons.

SS: Favorite TV shows?

Forever, Fringe and Scorpion.

SS: Anything special you eat or drink while you’re writing?

Coffee and chocolate. There’s no other way to write J

SS: How do you celebrate after completing a book?

My family and I typically go out for a nice meal, or my hubby surprises me with a present. He’s so thoughtful.

SS: Where can readers find you on the Internet?

I love connecting with readers and I hope they’ll find me on my social media sites.

SS: Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Thanks so much for all the amazing support! I truly treasure each email, FB message, timeline post and letter I receive. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to spend some time with me. I appreciate it! Have a great day. 

If you'd like to win a copy of Dani's book, Sabotaged, leave a comment, along with your contact information. We'll pick a winner next week!


  1. I look forward to reading your books. jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

  2. I have enjoyed reading the other books in the series. I would love to win submerged and read the last book.

  3. Great interview with Dani. I would LOVE a print copy of Sabotaged.


  4. I really would love to win this book thanks
    Shirley Blanchard

  5. I am really looking forward to reading this series. I have read a few of Dani's interviews about Sabotaged and it sounds good. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

  6. I can't wait to read this book!!

  7. Oh, I can't wait to read this book! The whole series has been great so far! :)
    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

    crazybooklover7 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  8. One of my all time favorite authors! Great interview!

  9. I cannot wait to read this one! Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

  10. First of all, I had to do a triple take when I read that Dani is a grandma. I am sure she gets that all the time. Second, I love Dani's work. It is the perfect mix of excitement and message! Thank you for the wonderful interview. I look forward to learning more about the new romance series Dani is working on. I love when a book takes me to a place I have never been or a place I would like to revisit.

  11. Have loved this series so far!! Thanks, Kristie Porter tklovenest {at} aol {dot} com

  12. Great interview, and the book looks amazing!

  13. When I see your name on a book, I know I have to read it! Your stories and messages are excellent!

  14. I would love to win this book? it sounds great!I

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  15. I love this type book and would sure love to win
    Shirley Blanchard

  16. Thank you for this giveaway. I enjoyed this interview with Dani.
    cps1950 at gmail dot com

  17. Have read the others in this series and would love to read this one, too! Thanks for the chance!

    ckbarker at gmail dot com

  18. Just discovered the series and can't wait to keep reading!
    Thanks for the opportunity!

  19. This book sounds like a wonderful completion to a spectacular series. Would love to read it.
    Jennifer Harris

  20. (I just commented, but I'm not sure if it went through.) Just finished reading the first four books of the Alaskan Courage series and have so enjoyed them. Dani Pettrey haha wonderful way of integrating Biblical themes in her books.

  21. The first four books in this series were great. I borrowed Sabotaged from the public library and plan to start reading tonight. I would love to win my very own copy. grandaddya [at] comcast [dot] net

  22. I would love to win this book. Dani is one of my favorite authors!


  23. Loved Alaskan Courage series, can't wait for the next one. Enjoyed learning more about you.

  24. Well, maybe third time will be the charm. I really wanted to win the one that gave away the whole series. I who don't use twitter, tweeted every single day last week to try to win! :-D
    egilkimmons @ gmail . com

  25. Thank you so much for the great interview! :) I always love learning more about my favorite writers! :)

  26. This sounds like a book I'd love to read :) thanks for a chance to win a copy!
    dkstevensneAToutlookD OtCom

  27. Great interview Dani! Loved the fun facts about you...I too am klutzy (lol) & my dad taught me how to shoot a bow and arrow when I was little. Although it's been many, many years since I have. It was my freshman year in high school & they happened to have that as part of fun! Now, I probably couldn't hit the broad side of a barn :-D
    I've had my eye on this book for a while & it would be great to add it to my bookshelf. I would pass on to my sis-in-law who is an avid Christian fiction reader! Blessings to you & yours Dani!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

  28. Can't wait to read the book!
    Brandy Tyler

  29. This book sounds so interesting. I love reading about the Iditarod race and with a love story included makes it even better. The race is sport of mystery to me. It is such a grueling race and it seems almost impossible to do. I love reading about the challenge of completing the race and hopefully winning.

  30. Thank you for the interview. Would really like to win a book. Charlyn

  31. I would love to win this book. I have enjoyed the others I have read so far. Carol Alscheff.

  32. If it's not too late, enter my name in the drawing. The book sounds like a must read.
    lill dot kohler at gmail dot com

  33. I can't wait to read this! donnyandshelly at yahoo dot com

  34. Nice interview. Would love to read this book. Loved the first two books.

  35. This sounds fantastic, thanks for the great article!! pp92596 at outlook dot com

  36. cant wait to read the book. have waited for this book to come out. New Zealand

  37. Can't wait for the book to come out!!

  38. I would love to win this book! Sounds like it will be a great read.

  39. Love the series and can't wait for this book and the next series!


  40. Can't wait to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  41. Looking forward to reading Sabotaged.
    jnelson at skyhighway dot com

  42. This was such a good book, and I'd love to own it for myself. You never fail to disappoint, Dani. :)
    - Cassie
    hammcass15 (at) gmail (dot) com

  43. I really loved reading Submerged and the rest of the series also sounds awesome!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    samanthabis23 at gmail dot com

  44. Dani Pettrey Alaskan novels are a must read! My daughter introduced her series to me earlier this year. Glad to say I've read all 5. They are fantastic. The stories come alive around you, the characters are so interesting and believable. You won't want to put the book down once you started reading them. I can't wait for her new series to begin, just sorry the Alaskan series ended...but what a great ending. Loved them. Not commenting to win a copy of the book. I'd hate to deprive someone else from the chance of reading it. Just wanted to add my admiration for the author and her novels.