Hello Aizess, thank you for the privilege of having me back 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.
What is your favorite book that you have written?
That is a great question and nearly impossible to answer! I have been blessed to write all of my books, nonfiction and fiction alike. The Montana Skies Series is my favorite so far; however, I have a special place in my heart for McKenzie (Book #1) because of the testimony behind it. God enabled me to write it while I was recovering from a car accident and multiple bacterial infections.
Is there a character from one of your books that you’re particularly fond of?
I actually have three characters that I am especially fond of (one in each book in the series):
Zach Sawyer (McKenzie)
Jonah Dickenson (Kaydie)
Hailee Annigan (Hailee)
What was your journey to publication like and how long did you write before you were published?
I was bitten by the writing bug at age seven when I began writing Bible stories in my own words. In fourth grade, I started to write fictional stories and “publish” them in homemade, wallpaper-covered cardboard books. Fast forward to the year 2000, when I quit my job in a social services agency to stay home with my infant daughter. I began writing magazine articles for national and regional publications on a variety of topics ranging from health, motherhood, and faith. I’ll never forget when my first article was published! A few years later, my first book was published, followed by six additional books.
Getting published is not an easy road and it takes determination. It took me awhile before I was published. I always encourage yet-to-be-published writers to give their writing to the Lord, follow His lead, and then persevere.
What people have inspired you on your writing journey?
I first of all give God the glory for my writing. As far as people who have inspired me, that would include my husband and daughters, my grandma, my dear friend Barb, and Mrs. Vernon, my second grade teacher who encouraged me to become a writer.
Are you currently working on anything new? If so, what is it?
I am currently working on a historical romance series that takes place right after the Civil War. I’m excited to introduce a new cast of characters to my readers!
What are you currently reading?
I am reading Galatians in the Bible. I’m also looking forward to reading Anita Higman’s new book Texas Wildflowers, which I plan to start reading over the Christmas holiday.
How has your relationship with Jesus affected/influenced your writing?
My relationship with Jesus has fully affected and influenced my writing in many ways. For one thing, I have grown closer to the Lord and am learning everyday to fully depend on Him.
As far as influencing my writing, I desire to use my writing to glorify Him. I pray that I will impact lives for Him through my writing and that I will glorify Him with each sentence, paragraph, and page that I write.
In addition, some people will never reach for the Bible, but they will read Christian fiction. If I can inspire my readers for Christ (in a non-preachy way) then I will have achieved my goal.
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The featured book is Kaydie, Book Two in my Montana Skies Historical Romance Series. Following is the blurb:
For the first time in years, Kaydie Worthington Kraemer can breathe easily. Although she is still haunted by memories of her abusive husband, Darius, she takes comfort in knowing the man is dead. Staying with her sister McKenzie and brother–in–law, Zach Sawyer, at their ranch, Kaydie is still wary of men, especially now that she has another life inside of her to protect. As she looks forward to her baby's birth, she builds a protective wall around herself that won't be easy to tear down. Ranch hand Jonah Dickenson views his boss, Zach, like a brother. He does not, however, envy Zach's new role as a husband. Deserted by his mother at a young age and forever despised and rejected by his own father, Jonah has few close relationships. But there's something about Kaydie that draws him to her and makes him question his decision to remain a bachelor. When Cedric Van Aulst, an old friend of Kaydie's, comes to town, an unforeseen prospect of marriage arises. Cedric is someone Kaydie trusts. Will she settle for a safe union with him, or can she trust God to guard her heart and her life in the arms of Jonah?
The book trailer for Kaydie can be seen here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vwihs6rsqDk
Can you please give us the first page?
Pine Haven, Montana Territory, October 1882
“No, Darius, I’m not going with you!” Kaydie Kraemer winced in pain as her husband, Darius, grabbed her arm and pulled her out the door of her sister’s house toward his waiting horse. She tried to pull her arm loose from his tight grasp, but her efforts were futile.
Darius then reached around and grabbed her other arm, squeezing it so hard that Kaydie could already see the bruises he would leave behind. “You don’t have a choice, Kaydie. You’re my wife, remember?”
“No, Darius. I’m staying here. I don’t want to be married to you anymore.” Kaydie fought back her tears, hating that they would be sign of weakness to her husband.
“You don’t have a choice,” he snarled. “Now, you can either come willingly, or I can carry you. Which will it be? Because I ain’t leavin’ without you.” He turned his head to the side and spit on the front porch.
Excerpt from Chapter One of Kaydie by Penny Zeller, © 2011, with permission of the publisher, Whitaker House.
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 once again 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.
Readers, here's your chance to win a book by Penny: Kaydie, the second book in Penny's Montana Skies series! 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:
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(please leave a separate comment for each extra entry)
Giveaway ends on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at midnight (Eastern time). Winner will be chosen through Random.org,