Friday, March 22, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature-Dani Pettrey

Today I welcome author Dani Pettrey 

Enter to win an autographed copy of Dani's latest book, Shattered.  
(see end of post) 

I first heard about Dani at the Bethany House session held at ACFW last year. David Long mentioned in his talk Dani's book, how it took him seconds to recognize her talents.

Well, I couldn't wait to meet her and read her book, Submerged. This is an exciting story, steeped in action and adventure. Now I can't wait to get her second book, Shattered. During my conversation with her I asked how God had led her on her writing journey. This is her awesome answer:

How God Renewed My Love for Story

I have always loved daydreaming and making up stories. I dabbled with creative writing growing up, but set it aside. It wasn’t until a bout with a serious illness that I really felt God stirring me to write. He took something that was extremely difficult, brought me through it, and then blessed me with a tremendous gift—the joy of getting to share stories with others.

The illness started while I was pregnant with my youngest and living far from my family. The doctors kept attributing my symptoms to my pregnancy, but I knew something was wrong. I was shaky, sick and losing weight. My dear mother relocated to be near me. After the birth of my daughter, instead of getting better as the doctors assured me I would, I only got worse. I ended up being hospitalized month as every test imaginable was run. I couldn’t be home with my newborn and toddler—it was devastating. As the weeks droned on with no concrete results, I feared I’d never get to be home with them again.

God used this extremely painful time to bring me into a saving relationship with Him. We had been attending church for a couple years and I had prayed the sinner’s prayer, but quite honestly, I was terrified to give my life over to Christ. The Lord used my illness to show me my great need for Him and even more, that He could be trusted with my very life. I fully accepted Christ into my life, giving myself fully over to Him. After being sick for nearly a year and half, I was finally properly diagnosed with Graves’ disease, thanks to my amazing doctor at Hopkins. Unfortunately, the disease had been progressing so long that my body was on the verge of going into shock. Treatment began immediately and within weeks, I felt like myself again. But God had more in store.

Amazingly, He also used this difficult period to renew my love of story. While recuperating, I read a great deal. Whenever my children napped, I had a book in my hand. As they grew, my love of reading deepened until one day, a number of years later, I felt the call to write deeply engraved on my heart. I wasn’t sure where to start, so I began slowly. I spent a lot of time simply reading novels, seeing how they worked, analyzing why I fell in love with certain characters and not others. I attended writing conferences, joined a writer’s group and devoted regular time to writing. Along the way, God blessed me with an amazing mentor who has greatly shepherded me in the craft and writing life.

I wrote for a number of years, entered contests and applied the feedback I received. Two and a half years ago, I attended the ACFW conference. I approached my editor after his Spotlight Session and he was gracious enough to ask to see the first three chapters. A few weeks later, I got a request for the full. A few weeks after that, he told me they were going to present Submerged for contract. The day I got ‘the call' was amazing. I had received my share of rejections, so getting the ‘go ahead’ on a story I loved so dearly was pure joy.

Here I am, years later, still desperately in love with my Savior, still dependent on His daily grace, and the author of two published novels. God never ceases to amaze.

2 Cor 12:9: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Isa 41:10: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the acclaimed author of the romantic suspense series Alaskan Courage, which includes her bestselling debut novel; Submerged and latest release 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 Maryland with their two teenage daughters. 

Visit her website at

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Dani Pettrey's book "Shattered", leave a comment and become a follower of this site if you aren't already. Include email address in your comment. U.S. residents only. Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Dani for Joining us This Weekend!

Reader,  how has God deepened your love for the ministry He has called you?


Dani Pettrey said...

Thanks so much for having me, Mary. I pray my journey is encouraging to others :)

Hedgehog Reader said...

Thank you for sharing your story, Dani!
It was very inspiring on a number of levels. xo

jenmom said...

I have fallen in love with the McKennas!!! And I have fallen in love with your writing Dani! Knowing your personal story is an encouragement to me especially as I am currently facing an unexpected health crisis and impending surgery. Can't wait for "Stranded"! I've read "Shattered" and need to get my hands on "Submerged" so I'm all caught up by the time the new book comes out!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Loved reading about your story, Dani! I can absolutely relate to God using dark times to show you the light of a new dream. Celebrating your success and praying much more to come for His glory!

Oh, and I already have a copy of Shattered so don't lump me in to the giveaway :) Can't wait until I have time to dive in!

Patty said...

Thanks for sharing your story Dani!
I have a copy of Submerged but haven't had a chance to read it yet, would love to have the second in the series.

Dani Pettrey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dani Pettrey said...

Hi Jen,
So glad you are loving the McKennas. So sorry to hear about your health crisis. Praying your impending surgery goes well. God bless, Dani

Dani Pettrey said...

Thanks, Pam. So glad you found it inspiring :)

Dani Pettrey said...

Thanks so much, Amy! Hope you'll really enjoy Shattered :) God bless.

Dani Pettrey said...

Hi Patty,
You're welcome :) Thanks for taking the time to visit. Hope you'll enjoy both Submerged and Shattered!

Mary Vee Writer said...

I think it will, Dani. I am so enjoying your company today.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I agree. Especially Pam's point about inspiring on a number of levels. That statement says so much. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

I find it a blessing, Jen, to be able to share with others the value of Christian Fiction. These books do much more than entertain. Having read Submerged, I can say this, you will love it. :) Mary

Mary Vee Writer said...

I agree Amy. Those dark moments are difficult to walk through, but oh the light of the new dream waiting.

Sure enjoyed having you here with us, Amy.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Patty
So nice to have you back again. Dani's story is heart warming, and inspiring. I'm glad you were able to stop in to hear it.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh yeah, and those personal dossier's are awesome! What a neat idea!

Mary Vee Writer said...

I'd like to know how she made them. They look fantastic! Inviting. A true peek into her characters.

squiresj said...

Would love to read and review this book. It sounds so interesting. I love books that give God the glory and are uplifting. I also share all books I read when done.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com
Going to follow site

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for joining us! So nice to have you here! You are entered. I think you will find Dani's books definitely give God the glory and are uplifting:)

Anonymous said...

Hello Mary. Thanks for having Dani here. I first met her through a Video Chat Party. It was so neat to actually see her and hear her talk. Dani, Just wanted to tell you that after trying so long to win your book, I finally did, I just received it a few days ago so haven't read it. Now, I'm hoping to win the second one to go with it. I am so sorry about your serious illness and so glad it was found in time. know it must have been so hard to not be with your new baby and toddler. Glad your mother was there for you. I'm gladd God helped you to get on the right path with Him, and has blessed your writing. I really hope I can win this book. I am a follower of this site. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Dani Pettrey said...

Actually, it was my fabulous web designer who created them. I think she did an amazing job :)

Dani Pettrey said...

Hi Maxie,
Thanks so much for stopping by. Thrilled you finally won a copy of Submerged :))) Hope you'll really enjoy it. Blessings, Dani

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi. So glad you made it this week. You were able to meet Dani? And you won Dani's first book! Yeah!. Maybe just maybe you might win the second on my website:) Sure loved seeing you today.

Shopgirl said...

Thanks for the interesting interview. That must have been a very hard time, but proof that God works all for the good. I need to be reminded of that as I deal with my own health issues. I'd love to win. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Veronica.
I am so glad that Dani's words ministered to your heart. What an added blessing on Palm Sunday weekend:)

Pegg Thomas said...

Nice interview! I'm a new follower and would love to be in your drawing. :) twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi, Pegg!
Welcome. You are definitely entered. Sure loved seeing you here today.