Monday, November 12, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway: McKenzie by Penny Zeller

Welcome to the CBRB. Penny! Thank you for being here! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Hello Aizess, thank you for the privilege of having me as your guest on the Christian Book Review Blog. I am a Christ follower, wife, mom, author, speaker, blogger, and volunteer. My most recent series is my Montana Skies Historical Romance Series and includes McKenzie, Kaydie, and Hailee.  I am also the author of 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference, and three other books. When I’m not dreaming up new characters, I enjoy spending time with my family and camping, hiking, canoeing, and playing volleyball.

When did you first discover that you loved writing? 

In second grade, I would rewrite Bible stories and hand them in to my teacher – a sort of grade school commentary  In fourth grade, I began to write fiction stories about a dog named Muffie and her adventures, as well as other short stories, neatly composed in homemade wallpaper-covered cardboard books.

By the time I was 10, I had graduated to a suspense series where the main character was the handsome and fictional police officer, Josh McClain. Everyday, my younger sister and cousin would excitedly ask me what was going on in Josh’s life and what crimes he had solved. I shared with them the ‘current episode’ about Josh McClain that I had made up in my mind from the night before (usually when I should have been sleeping!) and would leave them at a cliffhanger until I could make up some more details the following night. We still laugh about those stories!

I continued through the years to develop my love for writing. In 2000, I quit my full-time job in a social services agency to stay home with my infant daughter and committed my writing to the Lord. I began writing magazine articles for national and regional publications, followed by writing books.

Why do you write the type of books that you do?

Historical romance is my favorite genre, both to read and to write. My goal is to create realistic characters who struggle, just as we in real life do. My books are character-driven, and I develop those characters and grow them – not to perfection – but grow them in the Lord via themes of faith, forgiveness, love, redemption, hope, and dependence on God.

What was your greatest obstacle in writing and how did you overcome it?

I never realized it before I began writing, but being an author is a full-time career. I have to be intentional about setting aside time and setting goals or my writing can easily take a backseat to the other “necessary” daily chores of being a wife, mother, speaker, blogger, and volunteer. Because I work from a home office, I have to be intentional also about allowing the answering machine to “field” calls and be realistic about time management. Effective prioritizing has been a huge learning experience for me! Each morning, I pray that the Lord would help me to do only what He would have me to do.

Has writing changed your life in any way?

I have been blessed to be able to share about the Lord in a way that I love – through the written word.

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most? 


Psalm 91 is a chapter in the Bible that has impacted my life the most. During a difficult time after a car accident, this Psalm really ministered to me and continues to be my favorite in the Bible.

Is there a book you’ve read that has been truly spectacular? 

Reading is a favorite pastime of mine and I have read several good books. I especially enjoy historical romance, but I also enjoy nonfiction, and my favorite book is the Bible.

What’s the funniest/quirkiest thing you’ve ever done? 


What a great question, Aizess! I love humor and laughter and am a practical joker at heart. I also blog about some of the humorous happenings on my “A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, & Author.” Probably the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done would be the prank phone call I made to my husband while we were both in high school that later led to us meeting in person and ultimately getting married.

Please tell us about the featured book.


Buy At Amazon
I wrote McKenzie during a difficult time in my life while recovering from a car accident and back-to-back bacterial infections. However, the Lord took something difficult and turn it to good. Following is the blurb for McKenzie…

Desperate times call for desperate measures is the reasoning that prompts McKenzie Worthington, a young lady of Boston's high society, to respond to an ad for a mail-order bride for a man in the Montana Territory. McKenzie is desperate, after all, to save her beloved younger sister, Kaydie, from her evil, abusive husband, who robs banks for a living. And so, it is with reckless determination that McKenzie runs away from the comforts of home and hearth to head West and meet her new husband-whom she'll divorce, of course, after she rescues her sister.

Desperate times call for desperate measures is the reasoning that also prompts Zachary Sawyer, a rugged rancher after God's own heart, to post an ad for a mail-order bride in various newspapers across the country. Managing a ranch and caring for his adoptive son, Davey, has become more than one man can handle alone, and Zach prays for God to send him a wife with whom to build a life and share his dreams. 

When McKenzie arrives at Zach's ranch, she immediately puts her plan in motion, searching for her sister and doing all she can to keep her new husband from forming an attachment. But his persistent kindness and significant self-sacrifices begin to change her heart-and ruin her plans. God has a way of working things out to the good of those who love Him, though, as McKenzie and Kaydie will soon see.

Can you please give us the first page?

Absolutely!

September 18, 1881 Boston, Massachusetts

    Clutching the envelope that had just been delivered to her home, McKenzie Worthington walked into the parlor and closed the doors behind her. Sitting down, she ran her finger over the familiar, hasty penmanship on the outside of the envelope. There was no return address, but McKenzie already knew who had sent the letter. Bracing herself for the words on the pages within, she carefully opened the seal and unfolded the tattered, soiled piece of stationery.

    My dearest sister, McKenzie,
    I write this letter with a heavy heart and a fearful spirit. I am convinced that Darius is not the man I thought him to be when I married him. He drinks almost continually, and when there is no more money to purchase his whiskey, he places the blame on me. He used all the money in my trousseau long ago, and we are constantly on the run to avoid the law. His threats are many if I dare turn him in to the local sheriff.


Where can readers learn more information about you? 


I love to connect with my readers:

On my blog: “A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, & Author” www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com
On my website: www.pennyzeller.com
On my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pennyzellerbooks
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/PennyZeller

Thank you again, Aizess, for allowing me to be your guest. It has been an honor to be here and I appreciate all you do to help support Christian authors and spread the word about their books.

**********
GIVEAWAY!
  It is my pleasure, Penny! Okay, readers, Penny has kindly offered to giveaway a print copy of McKenzie! Just leave a comment with your email address to be entered in the giveaway. Giveaway is available to U.S. residents only. Be sure to check the sidebar (under Winner Announcement) after the giveaway is over to see if you've won. The winner must contact me by going to my "Contact Me" page and sending me an email. 

For extra entries: 
~Be a follower +1 
~Add my button to your blog +1
 ~Post about this giveaway +2
~Be a subscriber +2
~Tweet +1
~Post on Facebook +1
(please leave a separate comment for each extra entry)

Giveaway ends on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at midnight (Eastern time). Winner will be chosen through Random.org,

62 comments:

  1. Oh my! Another chance to try and win Penny's book I've been wanting.
    I just know I will love it. I lived in Montana for a while. Loved it! Thanks for the interview. Good job. Please enter me. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Maxie ~ It's nice to see you here! Thank you for your enthusiasm about "McKenzie."

      Have a blessed rest of your week,

      Penny Zeller

      Delete
  2. Got so excited forgot to put the info for entries. I am a follower of this blog. Please enter me. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am a subscriber of this blog. Enter me again, please!
    Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

    ReplyDelete
  4. thanks for the chance to read this story.
    i'm a follower & email subscriber, too

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Karen ~
      Thank you for stopping by the Christian Book Review Blog and leaving a comment for a chance to win.

      God Bless,

      Penny Zeller

      Delete
  5. Thank you Aizess for allowing me to be your guest! I am honored to be here and I'm looking forward to chatting with your readers. God bless your ministry!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am soo excited....love to read Penny Zeller's books...I have shared on facebook and twitter........babyruthmac16ATyahooDOTcom

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    Replies
    1. Hello eyeballlucy ~

      I really appreciate your willingness to share about the giveaway on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you so much!

      Blessings,

      Penny Zeller

      Delete
  7. Penny good to see ya again, I have not got this one and so anxious to read so would love to be in your drawing, I am a follower of this site and will share on FB page, thanks for sharing

    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I must write again as I just opened my FB page and found a message that I had won this book recently and to send addy to Penny, you can leave me out of the drawing here -but I am so happy to have won this and anxious to read the story of McKenzie, thanks Penny
    good luck all...

    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Paula ~ So nice to see you here! Thank you for your sweet words and for your generosity in sharing about the giveaway on your Facebook page.

      Congratulations again on winning a copy of McKenzie! Enjoy your visit to Pine Haven, Montana Territory. :)

      Blessings,
      Penny Zeller

      Delete
  9. Please enter me in for a chance to win this book! I look forward to reading it!

    samanthaakuiper(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am a follower :)

    samanthaakuiper(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  11. And I am also an email subscriber too

    samanthaakuiper(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good Evening, Samantha~
      Thank you for stopping by The Christian Book Review Blog and entering to win a copy of McKenzie. I appreciate your enthusiasm!

      Blessings,

      Penny Zeller

      Delete
  12. Sounds interesting. TheFourHorsemenSeries@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pam ~
      Thank you for stopping by The Christian Book Review Blog. Have a great week!
      Blessings,
      Penny Zeller

      Delete
  13. Thank you for the interview. It was nice to get to know Penny a little better.I would love to read McKenzie.
    may_dayzeeATyahooDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am a follower.
    may_dayzeeATyahooDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  15. I also subscribe to your blog.
    may_dayzeeATyahooDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Kay ~
      Thank you for pit-stopping by and entering to win a copy of McKenzie. I'm honored that you enjoyed the interview.
      Happy Thanksgiving!
      Blessings,
      Penny Zeller

      Delete
  16. Still have this book and the rest of the series on my wish list. Would love to win and read McKenzie.

    Karen G
    kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm a follower.

    Karen G
    kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm a subscriber.

    Karen G
    kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I tweeted. https://twitter.com/MsRubyKat/status/268861127151190016

    Karen G
    kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I shared on Facebook.

    Karen G
    kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Karen ~
      It is an honor to be included on your wish list. Thank you so much!

      Thank you also for sharing about the giveaway on Twitter and Facebook. I appreciate that!

      Blessings,

      Penny Zeller

      Delete
  21. Penny, how do I post this to my FB page without a share to click on? I also went to your FB page and never saw anything about this contest or on your blog.? Help!! Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Maxie~
      It's nice to see you here! The information about this giveaway is on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pennyzellerbooks (You might have to scroll down a bit).

      Thank you for your willingness to share about the giveaway on your Facebook wall.

      Blessings,

      Penny Zeller

      Delete
  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  23. (I am trying this again. I left off my email address.)

    Sounds like a good read. I would love to win one of Penny's books.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Well, I did it again! lol

    My email address is deamundy(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am a follower.

    deamundy(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am a subscriber.

    deamuindy(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deanna~
      Thank you for stopping by! I'm excited to see who is chosen as the winner.
      Happy Thanksgiving!

      Blessings,
      Penny Zeller

      Delete

  27. I posted about this contest on my Facebook. Please give me two more entries.
    maxie ( mac262@me.com )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Maxie, for sharing on your Facebook wall!
      Blessings,
      Penny Zeller

      Delete
  28. Looks like a terrific book. I would love to win one of Penny's books. Thanks for the opportunity.
    Katie J. (johnsonk133@yahoo.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Katie ~
      Thank you for your enthusiasm about "McKenzie" and about winning one of my books. By the way, did you know that my second book is titled "Kaydie?" A different spelling than your name, but the same name. :)

      God Bless,

      Penny Zeller

      Delete
  29. McKenzie sounds like a great book! Would love to win it and read more. Thanks for the giveaway.

    msbookwormlady(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm a follower!

    msbookwormlady(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I"m a subscriber.

    msbookwormlady(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Tweeted: https://twitter.com/MsBookwormLady/status/270228800766365696

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kay ~
      Thank you for stopping by to enter to win McKenzie and also for sharing about the giveaway on Twitter. I'm excited to see who is chosen as the winner in a few days.

      By the way, I love your email name!

      God Bless,

      Penny Zeller

      Delete
  33. I already have a first copy but would like a second copy to give as a gift. Blessings to you!
    Marriott Cole, author Grace, Miracles, and Chocolate

    ReplyDelete
  34. Penny, I posted this to friends by e-mail. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

    ReplyDelete
  35. Great interview:-) Penny thanks for sharing your writing story....it's encouraging to hear for us up and coming writers ! Your book sounds great ...would love to read it :-)

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  36. I have seen this book on several different blogs recently. I'd love to be entered in the drawing. My email is dawn(dot)janis(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  37. 1. New Author to me!
    2. Love Historical Fiction
    3. And... mail-order bride stories
    4. Want to read the rest of the letter from Kaydie ~ and what a unique way to spell her name!
    Kathleen
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  38. New FeedBurner subscriber to your blog! Came over for this story and will be back! (Found you through Fiction Addiction Fix.) Kathleen
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  39. Would LOVE to read you book praynATliveDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  40. New author to me. Thanks to sis-in-law for mentioning the giveaway. Looked up McKenzie and saw there are two others in the series. They all sound good. Will have to add them to my book list. Thank you for the giveaway.

    prettyinpurplerose(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm now a follower of the blog.

    prettyinpurplerose(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Just subscribed!

    prettyinpurplerose(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Tweeted. https://twitter.com/KevlinReads/status/272063244485677056

    prettyinpurplerose(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hello Aizess and Penny,
    This was a lovely interview.
    Please do not enter my name in the draw -- I am in Canada, I have the book which I reviewed and had a giveaway for on my blog after interviewing Penny last year.
    I just want to say it is a good read and Penny is a sweet person. In case it helps, I'll mention this draw on Twitter.
    Blessings.

    ReplyDelete
  45. This looks like a great book! shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I'm a follower. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'm a subscriber. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  48. I posted on facebook. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  49. I tweeted! shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete