31 March 2011

Getting to know you Thursdays with Penny Zeller and giveaway

Please welcome Penny Zeller back to my blog for a getting to know you spot. Since Penny was last here for Christmas her new book Kaydie has been released and it is just as good as Mckenzie. Check at the bottom of the interview for a chance to win a book.


1. Can you tell us a little about yourself? 

I am a wife, mom, and author of several books and numerous magazine articles. I also write a humor blog “A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author” (www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com). I am an active volunteer in my community, serving as a women’s Bible study small-group leader and co-organizing a women’s prayer group. My passion is to use the gift of the written word to glorify God and to benefit His Kingdom. I devote my time to assisting and nurturing women and children into a closer relationship with God. However, all that being said, my greatest ministry is to, with my husband Lon, raise our two daughters for Christ. When I’m not dreaming up new characters for books, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and camping, hiking, canoeing, gardening, and playing volleyball.

2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?
 I was an avid reader as a child. I loved Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mysteries and read every copy of those books I could get my hands on!

This is funny and not something I have shared much, but beginning when I was 10 years old, I also loved the romance stories in the back of “Good Housekeeping Magazine.”  In those days, the stories were wholesome and I would sneak outside with my mom’s copy into our playhouse to read. I loved the stories because they would have pictures of the characters drawn by an artist with a little tidbit under each picture, such as “Lydia thinks she’ll never love again – that is until James unexpectedly walks into her life…” I laugh when I think of those early days reading those stories! I suppose I have always been a romantic at heart!
(Jenny here thats so cool and a great memory)

3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and right write? 
Historical romance is my favorite genre to write, followed by contemporary romance. In third place would be nonfiction, which I also enjoy writing as well. As for reading, I would have to say my favorite is historical romance. There’s something neat about being able to pick up this genre and escape into a simpler time. (Jenny here I have to agree with historical fiction)

4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?
 The Trixie Belden authors Kathryn Kenny and Julie Campbell; the Nancy Drew author Carolyn Keene; and the Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder.

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author? 
I was bitten by the writing bug at age seven when I began writing Bible stories in my own words. (I suppose you could call it grade-school commentary!) My second grade teacher, Mrs. Vernon, encouraged me to continue writing about Jesus. In fourth grade, I began to write fiction stories about a dog named Muffie and her adventures, as well as, other short stories neatly composed in homemade wallpaper-covered cardboard books.  I loved telling stories at a young age and enjoyed sharing those stories with my sister and cousin.  In fifth grade, I won in the Young Authors contest at our school and had my first poem published in a children’s magazine shortly thereafter. My parents bought me my first typewriter (ok, I’m dating myself!) when I was 10 years old. I would sit and type up stories on that electric gray typewriter for hours on end.

Years later, my inspiration continues to come from the Lord and I pray daily that the path I have chosen in life will glorify Him. I get ideas from the Scriptures often and I build my book around certain biblical themes, such as, forgiveness and redemption. My Christian characters pray and seek God for direction. And as a writer I am in constant prayer for wisdom, guidance, and that my books would be life-changing – that they would bring others to the Lord or closer to the Lord. Writing is my ministry, and I have chosen Psalm 19:14 as my life verse: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

6. How did you go about becoming an author?
 In November of 2000, I gave my writing to the Lord. I quit my fulltime job with a social service agency to stay home with my infant daughter. That was the start of my writing career, beginning with numerous magazine articles in national and regional publications. My first book, a children’s book about food allergies was published in 2003. I am humbled that God has called me into a ministry of writing. I speak from experience when I say that when He closes one door, He opens a (much better) one and I firmly believe that if God calls you, He will guide you.

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be? 
Probably a television talk show host for a Christian TV show. 

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do? 
I love spending time with my family and camping, hiking, canoeing, gardening, and playing volleyball.
9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit? I love to visit the mountains. There’s something about being in His beautiful creation that makes me feel even closer to God.
Someplace I would like to visit is
Hilton Head Island. I have always thought that sounded like a neat place to take the family for a vacation.

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why? Wow, I really have no idea!

Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will
be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.

My first book is titled “McKenzie” and is the first in my Montana Skies Series. It is a Christian historical romance and was released September 1, 2010 by Whitaker House. Below is a short blurb:

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 and Kaydie will soon see.

I’m so excited about my second book in the Montana Skies Historical Series, which comes out in April of 2011. It’s titled Kaydie and below is a short 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?

(A side note: readers can read the first two chapters of Kaydie in the back of McKenzie).


I love to hear from my readers and can be found on the web at www.pennyzeller.com (website)
www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com (my humor blog – a Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author)

Penny is offering a reader of my blog a chance to win Kaydie, If the winner comes from america or Canada they will receive a book if the winner is from elsewhere they will receive pdf of the book. To be in the running please leave a way to contact you if I dont already know it. You have till Friday April 8th 6pm australian time to enter.

44 comments:

Carla Capshaw said...

Looks like a great series, Penny! I'll check it out.

Theresa Miller said...

Penny, I am so excited for you and can't wait to read Kadie! You are an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered to win. Sounds like a wonderful series.
Cathy
poohbr67@yahoo.com

Rhonda said...

I would love a copy of Kaydie! (I really, really enjoyed reading "McKenzie)

rhondawhite [at] inbox.com

Courtney said...

Sounds like an amazing story and I would really love to win it! Thanks!

kcmelone[at]yahoo[dot]com

Ann Lee Miller said...

Please put my name into the hat. Thanks! Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

Ausjenny said...

Thanks to all who have visited this is a great book and I am sure you will all love it. Rhonda if you really really enjoyed McKenzie you will Really Really like Kaydie.

Merry said...

I would love to read Kaydie story and experience her second chance at love story. Thanks!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Jo said...

The covers on your books are just beautiful and I would love to read the entire series. Thank you for the opportunity of winning the book.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Brenda said...

I would love to read something by Penny Zeller, thanks so much for hosting, and thanks to Penny for having the giveaway. kittycrochettwo at msn dot com

by Pegg Thomas said...

I read MacKenzie and enjoyed it, I'd love a chance to win Kaydie.

twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

paula said...

what a great interview AusJenny, very informitive. I would love to be put into your drawing as I love to read historical books. thanks for sharing information today.
Paula O
kyflo130@yahoo.com

splashesofjoy said...

I haven't read any of Penny's books so I would love to have this one. All of her books sounds wonderful!
Blessings.....Joy
ibjoy1953{at]yahoo[dot]com
http://splashesofjoy.wordpress.com/

Penny Zeller said...

Good Friday Morning, Carla, Theresa, Cathy, and Rhonda ~

Thank you so much for stopping by Jenny's blog and leaving a comment. I really appreciate your sweet compliments and, Rhonda, I'm thrilled that you enjoyed reading McKenzie!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Blessings,
Penny

Penny Zeller said...

Hello Courtney, Ann Lee, Merry, and Jo,

Thank you so much for stopping by Jenny's blog and leaving a comment. I appreciate your kind compliments!

Jo, I am thrilled that you like the covers. I received word that the publisher is working on the cover for the third book in the series and I can't wait to see it :)

A special thank you to Jenny for hosting me on her blog. I so appreciate you for all you do to encourage writers.

I hope you all have a blessed weekend!

Blessings,
Penny

Penny Zeller said...

Hello Brenda, Pegg, Joy, and Paula~
Thank you for stopping by Jenny's blog and for your sweet comments.

I just love your online name, Joy -splashesofjoy - love it! I agree with you, Paula, Jenny does do great interviews and she has such a heart for encouraging others. Brenda, I love doing giveaways and am thrilled to see who wins! Pegg -I'm honored that you enjoyed reading McKenzie. It's always a blessing to hear that from readers and always makes an author's day.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and God Bless!

Blessings,
Penny

Faye Rhys said...

Sounds like a great book!

Carman sent me.

crazi.swans(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

Sounds great. Count me in please.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Charity U said...

I've really wanted to read this one! Please enter me!

photographer4ever832[at]gmail[dot]com

Lisa said...

Penny,
I cannot wait to read this one!!
It sounds awesome!

bluejay@hwyman.com

lgm52 said...

Interesting interview. This book sounds great!
lgm52@hotmail.com

diana said...

Hey, Penny, I'm back hoping my persistency pays off this time. Still dreaming about that horse ranch in Montana, but even if I can't live in Montana I can read about it! haha

dianalflowers@aol.com

diana said...

BTW Carman sent me!

dianalflowers@aol.com

apple blossom said...

please enter me thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this wonderful novel :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Anne Payne said...

I'll enter to win Kaydie even though I havent' had the pleasure of reading McKenzie yet :) Thanks for the giveaway! Great interview, too.

Amy said...

I just finished Mckenzie and would love to win this book. Carman sent me.

arsmelser6[at]gmail[dot]com

Penny Zeller said...

Hello Faye, Linda, and Charity ~
Thank you for stopping by!

Faye and Linda ~ I so appreciate your kind comments and am thrilled, Charity, that you have been wanting to read "Kaydie."

I hope your week is off to a great start!

Blessings,
Penny

Ausjenny said...

Its so good to have so many visit this week Kaydie is a great book and I to love the cover.
Penny is a great Lady and wonderful author.

Penny Zeller said...

Good Tuesday Morning Lisa, Lgm52, Apple Blossom, and Diana~

I am thrilled that you stopped by Jenny's blog. Time is winding down and I can't wait to see who wins the copy of Kaydie!

Lisa ~ thank you for your comment and for your excitement about reading Kaydie.

Lgm52 ~ I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Jenny had some great questions!

Apple Blossom ~ thank you for stopping by and entering.

Diana ~ it is great to see you here! I have to agree that a horse farm in Montana would be awesome :)

I hope you all have a wonderful day and thank you again for stopping by Jenny's blog.

Blessings,
Penny

Penny Zeller said...

Good Tuesday Morning Lisa, Lgm52, Apple Blossom, and Diana~

I am thrilled that you stopped by Jenny's blog. Time is winding down and I can't wait to see who wins the copy of Kaydie!

Lisa ~ thank you for your comment and for your excitement about reading Kaydie.

Lgm52 ~ I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Jenny had some great questions!

Apple Blossom ~ thank you for stopping by and entering.

Diana ~ it is great to see you here! I have to agree that a horse farm in Montana would be awesome :)

I hope you all have a wonderful day and thank you again for stopping by Jenny's blog.

Blessings,
Penny

Penny Zeller said...

Good Morning Everyone ~

Well, I see that I have two comments that are duplicates, LOL! I must have hit the "post comment" button twice. :) Sorry about that -but truly, I do appreciate you all.

Blessings,
Penny

Penny Zeller said...

Hello Karen, Anne, and Amy ~

It is great to see you here - thank you for stopping by Jenny's blog. She is a wonderful host and I so appreciate her allowing me to be a guest.

Karen ~ thank you for your kind words about Kaydie. I appreciate you!

Anne ~ thank you for your sweet compliment about the interview. The nice thing about Kaydie and McKenzie is that you can read them out of order and still enjoy them :)

Amy ~ I'm thrilled that you enjoyed McKenzie. I was excited when I received the news from my publisher that I would have the honor of telling Kaydie's story too.

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week!

Blessings,
Penny

Jolene said...

Looks like a good book! I'd love to win it!

iwant2save26 at gmail dot com

Sarah said...

I'd love to read; thanks for sharing! ssmith10101 at gmail

Nancye said...

This sounds like a wonderful book! I would LOVE to win a copy! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Evangeline Han said...

Penny, I find it interesting when you replied that you'd be a talk show host if you're not writing. Writing and talking are careers that are worlds apart! It takes talent to have both.

Please enter me! Carman sent me.

writer.chicka[at]gmail.com

Marianne said...

This series sounds interesting...i would love to win a book. i have not read anything by Penny before, and i love finding new authors. Thanks Jenny and Penny for the interview and chance to win. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com from Arizona

Marianne said...

i get your blog via email and am a follower by networked blogs. i also follow you by good reads!

Penny Zeller said...

Hello Jolene, Sarah, and Nancye~

Thank you for stopping by Jenny's blog and for your kind comments about "Kaydie." Readers have no idea how they make an author's day with their comments, so thank you SO much!

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week.

Blessings,
Penny

Penny Zeller said...

Good Afternoon, Evangeline and Marianne~

Thanks for stopping by Jenny's blog. Evangeline ~ your comment brought back memories :) When I was in high school, several of us got together and filmed an entire talk show (complete with commercials). Guess who was the talk show host? :) We look back on that and laugh. Obviously, I have not a shy bone in my body, LOL!

Marianne ~ I am so thrilled that you are on the lookout for new authors. We authors appreciate that!

Have a great week,

Penny

Sheila said...

Enjoyed the interview. Historial fiction are my fovorite read. Book sounds great. Carmen sent me

true_sheila at yahoo dot com

diana said...

I WOULD love to win this book, but I'm so glad Carman referred me to this blog! It's great AusJenny! Love it!

dianalflowers@aol.com

patsy said...

This book sounds great. Would love to read it.

plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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