Friday, September 27, 2013

Dani Pettrey GIVEAWAY Winner!!!


CONGRATULATIONS to Debbie!!!
She’s won a copy of Dani Pettrey’s amazing suspense novel,
SHATTERED!!!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!!!
Have a great weekend!!

If you missed out on Dani's great interview, check it out here

For more info about Shattered and Dani’s other novels, visit www.danipettrey.com.



Piper McKenna couldn't be more thrilled that her prodigal brother, Reef, has returned to Yancey, Alaska, after five years. But her happiness is short-lived when Reef appears at her house covered in blood. A fellow snowboarder has been killed--but despite the evidence, Reef swears he's innocent. And Piper believes him.

Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. Piper is frustrated with his need for facts over faith, but he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth may mean risking Landon's career.

With Piper waging her own search, the two head deep into Canada's rugged backcountry--and unexpected complications.

Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Penner's Spotlight - Max Elliott Anderson - Canada


Pens on a World Map

Penner’s Spotlight

Penner: Max Elliott Anderson of Illinois

Location: Canada

Production Assignment…Canada


            
I’ve had the opportunity to work on film productions several times in Canada. Two of those took place 50 miles north of the last town, on Dore Lake, in northern Saskatchewan.  Both projects were dramatic films for children. Their titles are “Silent Thunder” and “Little Eagle.”

          Then there was another project that took me across all of Canada as we documented what happens in a Native American family when the father becomes a Christian and takes his proper place as head of household.

That film was called “Living Legends,” and it contains some truly amazing stories.

Indian Chief

         Travel from place to place wasn’t always what you’d call first class. In one case, we flew by private plane. A dense fog blew in from nowhere making it impossible to see anything. So the pilot dropped down to treetop level for a closer look. I’m positive I felt one of those tress brush the belly of our plane. Here, our crew and equipment were loaded into small boats…

Loading the boats

…for a trip across choppy waters to the next location. See our second boat up ahead?

Out on the water

            One night, we stayed in an abandoned hunting lodge. No water, no electricity, and no locks on the doors.  That was spooky!

The abandoned hunting lodge

            We did get to travel one part of our journey on the Polar Bear Express.           
train royte sign

            See those hand prints on the rocks?  They’re actually the same a cave paintings but without the cave.

Hand paintings

            People often ask me where I get the ideas for the action-adventures and mysteries I write for kids. Well, much of my life has been an adventure, and this is just one of many examples.

Have you had your own Canadian experience? If not, where in Canada would you love to travel? Please join the conversation below.






Max Elliot Anderson writes action-adventures and mysteries for readers 8 and up. Using his extensive experience in dramatic film, video, and television commercial production all over the world, in locations like this, he tries to bring that same visual excitement, and heart-pounding action, to each adventure and mystery he writes.


At this point, 10 books are published and 10 more are contracted. A free catalog is available in a PDF file by emailing mander8813@aol.com.



To learn more about Max and his travels and books, check out:


Books for Boys Blog http://booksandboys.blogspot.com




Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Missing on Inspiration Island? Interview with Author Dani Pettrey



When her friend vanishes from a cruise ship, reporter Darcy St. James isn’t satisfied with their explanation that she simply left her job of her own accord. Something isn’t lining up, and Darcy believes the only way to find the truth is to put herself in Abby’s position.

Within days, Darcy learns her friend wasn’t the only person to disappear mysteriously. Last summer, a woman vanished under almost identical circumstances.

Gage McKenna has taken a summer-long stint leading adventure excursions for the passengers of various cruise lines that dock for a few days of sightseeing. He’s surprised to find Darcy working aboard one of the ships, investigating a troubling report.

Something sinister is going on, and the deeper they dig, the more Gage fears they’ve only discovered the tip of the iceberg.


Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the author of the bestselling romantic suspense novels Submerged and Shattered. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves--the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of her characters' faith, and plenty of romance.

She and her husband reside in the D.C. metro area with their two teenage daughters.
Learn more about Dani and her novels at www.danipettrey.com.

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BOOK GIVEAWAY

Win Dani’s second novel, Shattered! Leave a comment below with your email address to be entered to win. Giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. CT on Weds, Sept. 25.

Also check out Dani's AMAZING giveaway sweepstakes below!

Thanks for stopping by!
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Ten Questions for Author Dani Pettrey

What should readers know about your latest release? Does it differ from your past books, offer a new perspective on a familiar topic, or shed light on a unique situation?

My latest release, Stranded, is the third book in my Alaskan Courage series. It follows Gage McKenna and Darcy St. James’ adventures aboard a mysterious cruise ship where Darcy’s reporter friend has gone missing from, along with a few other passengers. I hope it sheds light on a unique situation, but I don’t want to give any spoilers. :)

What was the main inspiration for the new book? Had the idea been on your mind for a while or just popped into it one day?

The inspiration for Stranded came while my family and I were on a Mediterranean cruise a couple summers ago.

I began talking with several of the crew members on a fairly regular basis and I was very intrigued to learn about their life aboard the ship. Throw in a few articles about missing persons off cruise ships and the idea for Stranded was fixed in my mind.

Why do you feel compelled to write—in your genre or at all?

I feel God made me to be a writer and I’m so very grateful that I get to do something I love in service to Him. I pray all of my stories glorify Him.

As for my genre, 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 on one’s faith and plenty of romance.

How has travel been involved in your writing and/or research? What’s been your most memorable research experience?

Travel is such a big part of my family’s life. We love traveling, visiting new places, and experiencing new things. I truly hope that comes across in my stories. You never know where a great idea may come from.

Who has inspired you the most on your writing journey—a loved one, fellow author, favorite teacher?

Definitely a fellow author. I’m tremendously blessed to be friends with Dee Henderson. Dee took me under her wing years and years ago and has been shepherding me in the writing craft and writing life ever since.

What surprised you the most about the writer’s journey—publication, representation, platform building, the writing itself?

Just how much is involved. I had this picture in my mind of simply writing a book, but there’s so much more to it.

Learning to juggle it all has been quite interesting. Balancing writing, revisions, line edits, promotion, interviews, connecting with readers (my favorite part), etc. is a daily learning experience.

If you could rewind time to when you began your pursuit of publication, what would you tell yourself?

To relax and enjoy the journey.

Now to have some fun with travel…

What’s your favorite place you have visited?

Oh, that’s such a tough question. I think I’d have to go with Hawaii. My family and I recently visited Maui and the Big Island and it was such a wonderful time of adventure, relaxation, and close family time.

I absolutely loved it. Not to mention how breathtaking the islands were. (Read more about Dani’s Hawaiian adventure on her guest spot here.)


If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Or would you return to somewhere you’ve already been?

I have three places I’d love to visit—Alaska, Australia, and Venice.

 And now a fun tidbit—if there was one special travel destination just for writers and you were the founder of it, what would the name be and would it be located?

What a fun question! It would most certainly be located on a beach. I think I’d call it Inspiration Island. :)

Thanks so much. I hope you had as much fun answering these questions as I had writing them!

I absolutely did! Thanks so much, Morgan. :)

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DON’T FORGET THE BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!

Win Dani’s second novel, Shattered! Leave a comment below with your email address to be entered to win.  

Giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. CT on Weds, Sept. 25.

Thanks for stopping by!


Piper McKenna couldn't be more thrilled that her prodigal brother, Reef, has returned to Yancey, Alaska, after five years. But her happiness is short-lived when Reef appears at her house covered in blood. A fellow snowboarder has been killed--but despite the evidence, Reef swears he's innocent. And Piper believes him.

Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. Piper is frustrated with his need for facts over faith, but he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth may mean risking Landon's career.

With Piper waging her own search, the two head deep into Canada's rugged backcountry--and unexpected complications.

Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.

For more info about Shattered and Dani’s other novels, visit www.danipettrey.com.


Also DON'T MISS DANI'S AMAZING GIVEAWAY!!
It ends tomorrow!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

12 years since the world stopped turning


“Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day…” It is “a date which will live in infamy” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated about the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. It fits here too. 
We will not forget where we were the moment we heard the dreadful news that our country was under direct terrorist attack. We watched the heart-breaking footage that looked more like scenes from a movie than actual events unfolding in our nation eleven years ago today.

It was a Tuesday like today and I was a fifteen-year-old sophomore. Ironically, I was sitting in an American Government class when I found out. One minute we were discussing federal policies and department checks and balances and in the other someone was at the door to inform our teacher of the attacks. His face was serious as he left the room and then came back in rolling a TV cart.

flickr/creative commons - Photo by Vladimire Osherov
We watched as the towers burned, people fled the streets and the buildings collapsed. We heard the dismay of the newscasters reporting the horrific occurrences. We learned of the attack on the Pentagon and the crashed hijacked plane in Pennsylvania, which was likely headed for the White House or Capitol building. We witnessed it from our small Louisiana town. I remember feeling terror as I watched these great cities I wished to visit one day seemingly crumble in panic. It was sad and very strange to me.
When you hear of attacks in the Middle East and beyond on our U.S. troops, there's a distant feeling from it all, but it's just as horrifying over there if not more. Then, we witnessed it on our own soil and that terror we faced on 9/11 is what I realized our soldiers face each day.

I know I cannot begin to understand what the people in New York City and D.C. were feeling, but I know it must have been a hopelessness and anxiety as to what would happen next and how we could combat more attacks.

I do know that in the days afterward, I witnessed the amazing sight of our nation pulling together. I had never seen anything like it in my lifetime.

flickr/creative commons - Photo by Dave (DSWfromLI)
I believe unity is the soul of a nation—our true strength. Terrorists have unity to plot and carry out acts of terrorism, so the American people as the “United” States can pull together and become more powerful than our enemies. I felt patriotism surge though my veins and seeing the American flag came to mean much more to my fellow Americans and I on that day.

Since 9/11, I know I’ve been more cautious and aware of the dangers in the world. I know it’s easy to relax inside our “American” bubbles, but we must keep fresh in our minds that terrorism is the act of evoking terror into the hearts of a people. We must turn that fear into perseverance and then into a renewed commitment to our nation. I feel we’re so busy fighting a multitude of internal battles that terrorists can just sit back and watch us create self-inflicted wounds.

We need to remember what unity means and that the “United States” are to be united and have each other’s back in a fight. That’s what unconsciously happened after 9/11. No nation will ever be perfect, but its patriotism and loyalty keep it going no matter what. Terrorists are still as active today as they were twelve years ago and our military still combats violence directly in foreign lands. We need to constantly remember them in our prayers as well as our government leaders and the families of those who lost their lives on that tragic day that this country must never forget.

God Bless the USA

Where were you on 9/11? What were your thoughts about it then and what are they now? I’d love to hear your story on this 12th anniversary of that tragic day.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Human Trafficking and Murder? Interview with Author Lisa Harris


When two Jane Does are killed on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, detective and behavioral specialist Avery North discovers they share something in common--a tattoo of a magnolia on their shoulders.

Suspecting a serial killer, Avery joins forces with medical examiner Jackson Bryant to solve the crimes and prevent another murder. But it doesn't take long for them to realize that there is much more to the case than meets the eye.

As they venture deep into a sinister world of human trafficking, Avery and Jackson are taken to the very edge of their abilities—and their hearts.

LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award finalist and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times.

She has over twenty novels and novella collections in print. She and her family have spent almost ten years living as missionaries in Africa where she homeschools, leads a women’s group, and runs a non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry called The ECHO Project.

When she’s not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari.  

For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at www.lisaharriswrites.com or her blog at http://myblogintheheartofafrica.blogspot.com. For more information about The ECHO Project, please visit www.theECHOproject.org.

Her latest book, Dangerous Passage, exposes a fully-realized and frightening world where every layer peeled back reveals more challenges ahead. Romantic suspense fans will be hooked from the start by Lisa Harris's first installment of the new Southern Crimes series. 

Ten Questions for Lisa Harris

What should readers know about your latest release? Does it differ from your past books, offer a new perspective on a familiar topic, or shed light on a unique situation?

Dangerous Passage is the first book of my brand new ‘Southern Crime’ series, so in that sense, it’s unique. Several years ago, though, I wrote Blood Ransom, a novel that focused on human trafficking in Africa. At the time, I had no idea this was an issue in the US.

With this new series, I decided that setting this story in the US, the backdrop of human trafficking would not only make an exciting story, but would also help people become aware of this very real issue.

What was the main inspiration for the new book? Had the idea been on your mind for a while or just popped into it one day?

The character of Avery North, the heroine of this story, came to me before the actual story. By the time I started writing the book, I knew she was a single mom who was struggling to balance a career and her family. She was born into a family who had served their country for generations, a family that sticks together and does whatever it takes to the injustices in the world. The actual story came out of this set up.

Why do you feel compelled to write—in your genre or at all?

Writing is simply a part of me. I remember someone once asking me where I get my stories and I looked at them a bit confused. I honestly thought that everyone had stories and characters running around in their heads and that I had just decided to write them down.

This person told me that the only thing running around in their head was their shopping list. :) Now I see my writing as a gift from God and one I hope I can continue to use for His glory.

How has travel been involved in your writing and/or research? What’s been your most memorable research experience?

We’ve been blessed to do a lot of traveling which I really enjoy. I wrote a series set in Africa a couple years ago and just finished another one set in South Africa. I’m also getting ready to finish another romantic suspense set in Paris. These are all places where I’ve been and/or lived, so I love being able to share these places with my readers.

Who has inspired you the most on your writing journey—a loved one, fellow author, favorite teacher?

It’s hard to choose just one person. Writing really is a journey and along the way I’ve been blessed with so many different people who have and continue to inspire me. From family, to fellow authors, to editors to readers. Writing can be a lonely job, so I’m thankful for those willing to take the journey with me!

What surprised you the most about the writer’s journey—publication, representation, platform building, the writing itself?

I think the simple fact that writing is hard. We tend to romanticize certain professions, but writing doesn’t always end in a contract, or a best seller. Most of the time, it’s everyday sitting at your computer whether you feel like writing or not.

It’s writing while the kids are napping, writing late at night, writing when you simply don’t feel creative. But in spite of all of that, I find it extremely fulfilling, and yes, even fun!

If you could rewind time to when you began your pursuit of publication, what would you tell yourself?

To be more patient. To realize that publication is simply a step in this journey. To enjoy the friends you will make more, as well as the stories you will create. To worry less about being popular and more about simply enjoying writing.

Now to have some fun with travel…

What’s your favorite place you have visited?

There are honestly so many places I’ve been able to visit, that it’s almost impossible to choose just one! Maybe it’s because I’ve just been working a book set in Paris, but I really love visiting this city.

I’m honestly not sure exactly what it is, because I am not a city girl, but I love the history, the old buildings, the museums, the food, the bakeries, the language, and the people. . .Yes, I could go on and on. :)

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Or would you return to somewhere you’ve already been?

Because things have been so crazy over the past year, I think I’d love to visit some quiet island where all I’d have to do is lay in the sun, sleep and read. Ahh. . .

And now a fun tidbit—if there was one special travel destination just for writers and you were the founder of it, what would the name be and would it be located?

Silvermist Lodge would be located in the mountains in the middle of the French Alps.

Stunning views, simple food, and quiet, it would be a place where authors could recharge their spirits and unleash their creativity. A place where they could also connect with other writers, and feel the presence of God.