is the fantastic fourth installment in Dani Pettrey's Alaskan Courage
series. As in each of the previous books, this story includes an exciting cast of characters but focuses particularly on one of the McKenna siblings This time the spotlight is on Kayden.
Having read to this point in the Alaskan Courage
series, the McKennas and other characters seem like old friends. Dani writes with such clarity and detail that all the people come alive off the pages. And the adventures they take part in keep a realistic and exciting level of suspense working throughout each book. Silenced
is certainly no exception.
Dani will finish the series with Reef's story in Sabatoged
, coming in the spring of 2015. I can't wait to read that one as well!
Thanks to Bethany House for providing a copy of Silenced
in exchange for my honest review.
About the Book
A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden
McKenna’s route leads her to a face-to-face encounter with a dead
climber. Is it a terrible accident or something sinister? When the case
is handed to the overburdened sheriff, he turns to Jake Westin. With
Jake’s past now revealed, he’s ready to use his talent for investigation
again-–but he could never prepare for where the case will take him.
Kayden and Jake soon realize that the death was no accident. And
worse, it seems the killer is on to them. When strange things begin
happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put
someone he loves in danger.
But the truth is far worse than either of them imagine.
You can read an excerpt from Silenced here.
Thanks to Dani Pettrey and Amanda Dykes of PulsePoint Design for allowing me to participate in a special blog tour for Silenced. As a part of that tour, I had the opportunity to do a Q&A session with Dani. Here is a chance for me to share with you what Dani shared with me.
1. How did your writing career begin?
I have always loved
daydreaming and making up stories. I dabbled with creative writing growing up,
but set it aside. It wasn’t until after the birth of my youngest daughter and a
bout with a serious illness, that I really felt God stirring me to start
writing again. When I first began, 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.
I was also blessed with an
amazing mentor who really shepherded me in the craft and writing life. I wrote
for a number of years, entered contests and applied the feedback I received.
Several 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 it 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. Fast-forward four years and
my fourth book just released this month.
2. What was your inspiration for the setting of
this Alaskan Courage series?
I wanted a setting that
worked well for a wide range of adventures—mountains, sea, and everything in
is an amazing state, full of nearly endless possibilities. I also love how
rugged and untamed the Alaskan wilderness is. There is an inherent risk of
danger if you aren’t properly prepared and that works really well with
3. What kind of research did you do for this
series? Were you already familiar with Alaska, or did you start
from scratch? (By the way, your stories
just increase my bucket list wish for an Alaskan cruise!)
I started from scratch. I
spent a lot of time researching Alaska
before I ever began writing. I read a lot of books (both fiction and
non-fiction), local blogs and travel blogs, watched documentaries and movies
filmed on location there, and spent a great deal of time looking at
photographs. I tried to immerse myself in the gorgeous state. I can’t wait
until I’m able to finally take a trip there. I, too, have a very long bucket
wish list for Alaska.
4. Did you begin the series with the intent of
writing the stories of each of the McKenna siblings, or did that develop as the
I did start with the hope of
writing the entire series—a book for each sibling. When I initially sold the
series, it was for the first three books. After seeing how well readers
responded to the McKenna family, we were able to increase the series to my
original ideal of five books. I feel very blessed and am extremely grateful to
my super supportive readers for the opportunity to tell each McKenna sibling’s
5. I have read from some authors that their
characters evolve and change from where they (the authors) first imagined, that
they seem to take on a life of their own and begin to almost write their own
stories. Does that happen to you, or do
you pretty much know where you're going from the beginning?
I generally have a rough
idea of my character (age, occupation, etc.) and a story premise (what if…) and
then I sit down and start writing. I love the freedom of seeing the characters
come to life and learning about them as the story flows. For example, Piper
McKenna’s book was originally supposed to be the last book (book 5) but she and
Landon really came to life in Submerged as secondary characters so I knew the
next book had to be theirs.
6. You do an awesome job of incorporating
Christian values and messages into your stories. Is there a particular goal or purpose you
feel as you put these words into the hands of your readers?
Thank you so much. I don’t
view it so much as a goal. I like to view the faith element as a natural part
of my stories. Just as my love of adventure permeates the stories I write, so
does my faith. My relationship with Jesus is part of every facet of my life;
it’s only natural to be part of the stories I tell.
7. What's next?
Do you already have something else in the works for after you tell
Reef’s story will be out in
February. It was a really strange experience finishing up the first draft of
his story, knowing it would be the last McKenna story I’d be telling—at least
for a while (never say never).
At the same time, it’s been
five years and I’m excited to move on to a new project and group of characters.
I will be working on a new four book series, with the debut title in that
series releasing in the Fall of 2015.
About the Author
Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the acclaimed author of
the romantic suspense series Alaskan Courage, which includes her
bestselling novels Submerged
, and her latest release, Silenced
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, where they enjoy time
with their daughters, son-in-law, and super adorable grandson.