*You can earn up to 6 entries in this giveaway. Read below for details*Today author Penny Zeller is telling us about her new book, McKenzie (Montana Skies series #1 -- September 2010). She has offered an autographed copy of her book to one lucky commenter. She will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer your questions! So if you have anything you want to ask her, you can include it in your comment for entering the contest. If you are only leaving a question in the comment and not entering the giveaway please say so.
Welcome, Penny! Here is the author's bio:
Penny Zeller is the author of several books and numerous magazine articles. She writes the humor blog “A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author” (www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com ), is an active volunteer in her community, serving as a women’s Bible study small-group leader and co-organizing a women’s prayer group. Her passion is to use the gift of the written word to glorify God and to benefit His Kingdom. She devotes her time to assisting and nurturing women and children into a closer relationship with Christ. When she’s not dreaming up new characters for books, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and camping, hiking, canoeing, gardening, and playing volleyball. Penny’s most recent book, “McKenzie,” was released in September 2010 by Whitaker House and is the first in the Montana Skies Series. Her second book in the series, “Kaydie,” is a touching book of trust and God’s provision, and is scheduled for release in April 2011.
Tell us about your salvation experience.
I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior at a Christian church camp when I was 16. However, years later, I moved away from the relationship I had found with the Lord and lived my life the way I wanted. It wasn’t until 1999 while I was pregnant with my first child and experienced life-threatening problems for both my daughter and I that I returned to the Lord. Through those difficult times, I sought the Lord and realized God was there and would take care of me. He never left me – it was me who had left Him. On that day, I rededicated my life to the Lord and have made it my goal to live and to write for His glory.
A spontaneous writer or a scheduled writer?
I would say a bit of both! *grins* I’m spontaneous in that I just “have” to write down an idea or a scene when it comes to me, which can be at some very odd and unexpected times! (Not just the usual times, like in the shower or at night when I should be sleeping, but also during parent group meetings at school or when I’m grocery shopping!)
Scheduled in that I have to have a scheduled writing time or other things will cut in on my work time. Working from home can be a challenge, so I have set hours for when I work on my books.
Stubborn, or compliant?
My hubby would say I can be a bit stubborn at times :) But I’m also the type of person that recognizes that some things just aren’t worth the hassle, so in that way, I would be compliant.
Organized or completely chaotic?
I fall somewhere in between! I am your classic scatterbrain in many ways! (We won’t even talk about my office desk!) Having said that, I love organization and I am a planner. Parts of my life are organized, such as my pantry, but I have a million things going on at any one time and have about six lists I work off of. So both, depending on the situation.
How do you handle disasters/BIG problems?
I am a very sensitive person, so I feel deeply. When disasters or big problems arise, I have a good cry, then spend a lot of time in prayer. I then turn to my husband, Lon, and to my friends for encouragement and prayer support.
In your opinion, what is your best trait? What is your worst?
My best trait is being a devoted wife and mother, encourager, prayer warrior, and lover of laughter.
My worst trait is that I tend to be a worrywart.
Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
I met my husband of 18 years through a prank phone call. My sister, cousin, and I had found his football picture in the newspaper and decided to call him one day. (He went to a neighboring school and was a state champion football player, while I was a cheerleader at my school). We met in person for the first time the next week at the Maverick Gas Station and the rest, as they say, is history!
If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in your books?
Hmmm. I have no idea. I really haven’t thought about that. Readers have told me that my writing reminds them of the writing of Janette Oke or Tracie Peterson, which are HUGE compliments and very humbling! I would rate the romance as "G" in my books.
What are you working on now or going to write next?
Right now I am working on the third book in the Montana Skies Series and have started a second series that takes place during the Civil War era. The second book in my Montana Skies Series, titled Kaydie, is set for release in April. Here is a short blurb for Kaydie:
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?
How can readers get in contact with you?
I love to connect with my readers! I can be contacted a variety of ways, including:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Penny-A-Zeller/96391560959?ref=ts (Facebook page)
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 will soon see.
Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
Wow, this was a hard question for me as I’m not up to date on current TV/movie actors. I think based on appearances, I would pick Hayden Panettiere for McKenzie and Geoff Stults for Zach. (Hayden's photo -- Attribution : © Glenn Francis, http://www.pacificprodigital.com/)
Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter or an excerpt of this book?
Yes. It is available in a variety of places, including here: http://a-long-the-way.blogspot.com/2010/09/mckenzie-by-penny-zeller.html
**USA residents only, please**Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of McKenzie!
*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win). The comment is mandatory. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address.
*If you leave a comment you will be entered unless you specify that you would not like to be entered.
*Here are the ways to get entries:
(First entry) The mandatory comment saying you would like to be entered with your email address.
+1 Become one of my followers OR subscribe to my blog by email.
Read and leave a comment on one or more of my recent book reviews.
+2 Love's First Bloom
**You can earn a total of 6 entries if you do all of the above entry options. Make sure to tell me in your entry comment on this post which of the things you did to get extra entries.**
*The contest will run from today (December 3) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (December 9). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner either directly after choosing him/her or on Friday the 10th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.
Good luck! Thanks for visiting.