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|
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?
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.
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.
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(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,