Friday, November 3, 2017

Interview with Dana Mentink

Patricia Bradley here and today I'm pleased to interview Dana Mentink, one of our own Suspense Sisters about her new book, Cowboy Christmas Guardian.

If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say? 
I’m basically a cornball with a big heart.

I love that description! So, what do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?
I’m a third-grade teacher so between writing, teaching and tending to the teenage bear cubs, I don’t have a huge amount of time for hobbies. I’m an armchair comedian, so I make funny videos on Instagram. Does that qualify as a hobby?

I think making funny videos on Instagram definitely qualifies as a hobby. What was your favorite book as a teen or child? 
The Wizard of Oz.

Oh! I loved The Wizard of Oz! Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.
I’ve taught elementary school for fourteen years, on and off.
I am foster mom to an ancient box turtle.
I was on competitive speech and debate teams in high school and college.

What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? 
I started out writing cozy mystery and then moved into suspense and a bit in the lighthearted genre. It was sort of natural evolution from mystery to suspense, but lighthearted matches my natural cornball tendencies.

I loved Sit, Stay, Love!  You do lighthearted very well. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? 
Toughest criticism? Hmmm. Don’t quit your day job? The best compliment is when people say I’ve touched them in some way, or made them feel closer to God.

That's a wonderful compliment. Any other genres you’d like to try? 
I’ve always wanted to write a thriller. Maybe when I retire from teaching because that’s already a thrill a minute!

I don't know how you teach day in and day out! That is the hardest job in the world...and the most rewarding, I'm sure. If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be? 
I would do a better job of marketing. Marketing is a monster with many heads and it has taken me years to learn to do a decent job of it.

What is the most important thing you’d like readers to take away from your books? 
I’d like people to feel entertained, lifted up and encouraged.

Tell me about your book.
It’s the first in the Gold Country Cowboys series about four brothers who run a family horse ranch here in California’s gold country . They are very different, personality wise, but they all share a deep sense of honor, family loyalty and faith which aids them in their many life threatening adventures! The first book follows Barrett Thorn, the eldest brother, a widower, who comes to the aid of an assayer who has been attacked and locked in the trunk of her car.

The Gold Country Cowboys series sounds so interesting. I can't wait to read it. What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?
My mentor told me that if I wanted to be a professional, I had to act like one. Treat your writing like a job, do it every day to the best of your ability. It’s not a hobby, it’s your profession.

A Quick Tweet

3 things about Dana Mentink you might not know! (Click to Tweet)

Dana is happy to give away a print copy U.S. addresses and digital for outside the U.S. Just leave a comment telling whether Dana is a new-to-you author.

Back Cover Copy:

Someone is dead set on stopping Shelby Arroyo from doing her job: assessing mineral rights in a mine in gold country. But after rancher Barrett Thorn rescues her from an attack, the handsome widowed cowboy seems to feel responsible for her. That is, until he discovers she's from the family that he'll never forgive for his wife's death. As the threats against Shelby escalate, cowboy honor and an unexpected attraction keep Barrett by her side, even at his own risk. And since Shelby won't back down, Barrett must protect the brave, loyal woman he has no business falling for…a woman someone wants to kill by Christmas.

Dana’s bio: Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, Yogi, Boo Boo, and a nutty terrier, chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can contact her via her website at or on Facebook. She also hosts an Instagram account at dana_mentink and a You Tube channel, Author Dana Mentink.


  1. Dana, you’re not new to me. I’ve loved your LIS books. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. I have read almost all your books and absolutely love them!! I cant wait to read this one, if i dont win just know i will be buying it

  3. Lovely interview! Dana is not new to me. :) I have a few of her books!

  4. Dana you are new to me,but I would love to read your books Thank you Rose blackard at gmail dot com

  5. I have read a few of Dana's LIS books & loved them!

  6. Dana, you are not a new author to me. I have read many of your LIS books. I also enjoy your facebook and YouTube videos. I am looking forward to reading your newest book. Carol A. carola245 at hotmail dot com.

  7. Dana, I love cornballs with big hearts! And I adore your Instagram videos. They make my day brighter. I love your facial expressions! I’m taking care of my bedridden mom right now so please enter me in the drawing. Reading is my escape, if only for a short while.
    Gail Hollingsworth

  8. Great interview and a pleasure getting to know Dana here :) I've read Abducted and Dangerous Testimony and enjoyed them both! This time of year I enjoy reading Christmas stories and the cover to this one is so Christmassy! Thanks for the giveaway and have a great weekend :)

  9. I love the cover and the story sounds intriguing

  10. Dana, I loved reading this interview and learning a little more about you. Please don't enter me in the drawing.

  11. Dana, you are not a new author to me. It was nice learning more about you. I really enjoy your writing.

  12. Dana is a new author to me and I would love to read a book by a new romantic suspense author! lhanberry1[at]gmail[dot]com

  13. Dana is a new author to me but always enjoy reading new ones! lclee59(at)centurylink(dot)net

  14. Hi Dana. I have been hearing good things about you and your books but I haven't read any yet.

  15. I have read some of your great books. Looking forward to this one. Thanks.

  16. Dana I have reads some your Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense books. I am looking forward to reading Cowboy Christmas Guardian,Treacherous Trails
    (Gold Country Cowboys, book 2)June 2018

    Top Secret Target
    (Military K-9 Unit). Thank you for the opportunity to win.I enjoy reading your books.

  17. I am following Dana on Facebook and love her videos! But I haven't read any of her books yet. This one looks great!!

  18. I am familiar with Dana as an author.

  19. You are a new author to me and thanks for the chance :)