Readers, I’m thrilled to have Dani Pettrey back with her newest book in the Alaskan Courage series. I became hooked on this series with the first book—Submerged. So as soon as Shattered and Stranded arrived, I read each of them. When my copy of Silenced arrives, it will go to the top of my to-be-read-pile.
Welcome back, Dani. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
I love to write about a variety of themes including restoration, redemption, hope, forgiveness, and the fullness we find in Christ alone.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
Reef McKenna’s book will be out in February. I’ll be revealing the title, cover and short blurb during my Book Banter on May 23rd. You can join in by visiting Bethany House’s Facebook page.
If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
Narrowing it down to one person is always so hard, but I’d have to say Sue Grafton. I adore her alphabet series. I think she’s the best traditional mystery writer out there, and I’d love to sit down and chat about writing with her over a cup of coffee.
What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
Jane Austen. I’m an enormous fan. She was so far ahead of her time and has penned such well-written iconic characters and touching stories.
How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
Keep at it. Never give up. I was so close to giving up right before I received the call. My husband practically forced me to keep writing, and I’m so thankful he did. I truly believe God wouldn’t give you the love and desire to write if He didn’t have plans for it. That doesn’t necessarily mean traditional publication, but it’s not wasted time. He may be growing you, He may know your first readers or critique partners need to hear a message in your manuscript, He may be blessing you with writer friendships, and He may very well have publication in mind—only He knows the perfect timing. If writing is something you love, keep at it.
Tell us about the featured book.
Silenced is Jake Westin and Kayden McKenna’s story.
Jake Knew Something Was Wrong. But He Never Guessed How Wrong.
A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna's route brings her face-to-face with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something darker? When the case is handed to overburdened sheriff Landon Grainger, he turns to Jake Westin for help. With Jake's past now revealed, he's ready to use his talent for investigation again—but he could never prepare for where the mystery will take him.
Kayden's climbing expertise soon leads her and Jake to the realization that the death was no accident. And worse, it seems the killer is onto 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 he could ever imagine.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Kayden scaled the rock face, the addictive burn spreading through her arms, her body. Man, she loved this—hanging on the edge of a seven-hundred-fifty-foot sheer cliff face, knowing one wrong grab meant death.
“You’re not going to beat me this time,” her younger sister, Piper, hollered, her voice echoing across the twenty-foot-wide crevice separating them. She’d been trying to distract Kayden all morning, but Kayden knew how to ignore her sister. The person who wasn’t as easy to ignore was Jake. He was watching from the base nearly seven hundred feet below with her older brother gage. The men had come along to “enjoy the show,” as they put it.
Unfortunately, putting Jake’s presence out of her mind was proving to be a lot harder than dismissing Piper’s taunts. Knowing his gaze was fastened to her was exhilarating.
Pushing off with her right foot, she lunged the eighteen inches to the next handhold, knowing the move had Jake holding his breath. She held hers until her fingers grasped the hold, heat searing through her.
Jake Westin—Check that . . . Jake Westin Cavanagh was so much more than she’d realized, and quite frankly, over the past month her deepening feelings for the man had frightened her a whole lot more than the vast leap ahead.
She reached the last overhang—a granite ledge butting out eight feet from the rock face. She’d have to boulder her way along the edge and then make the final leap of faith, praying she’d timed it right and used enough force to land on its leveled surface.
It was the deadliest point of the route—the one that separated the experts from the average.
Granite crunched beneath her nails as she clawed her way across the jagged rock.
The wind, growing in force, howled through the canyon below, echoing through the crevice in a high-pitched whir.
Kayden closed her eyes and stilled her mind. I can do this. She’d mastered it before. She could do it again. Her breath caught in her throat as she pushed off and lunged through the air, stretching her fingers until they burned—reaching, grasping for a safe hold. Her fingers made contact, and she wedged herself along the rock, her hands locked on the overhang’s lip.
Her feet found a stable notch. Pushing up with her legs and arms at the same time, with sheer will and determination, she lifted herself up.
Relief swarmed inside as she crested the ledge, her arms shaking . . . and then horror struck.
A man, his skull bashed in, faced her—his visible eye open and staring directly at her.
She swallowed the vibration churning in her throat, the scream fighting to tear from her lips. Every fiber of her being said Let go, push back, get away, but wrestling instinct, she maintained her hold as she balanced on the edge of the overhang.
Glancing over her shoulder, she assessed her options. Moving back down the way she’d come at this point in the strenuous climb was suicide. Her arms were burning limbs of Jell-o, and if she didn’t make a decision within seconds, they’d give out. She needed to climb onto the ledge with the man, needed to make sure he didn’t require help, verify that he was already . . .
She squeezed her eyes shut for the briefest of seconds, trying to drown out everything else and focus. Mustering what strength remained, she hefted herself fully onto the outcrop, her body brushing against the man’s. Swallowing the bile creeping up her throat, she edged around him, scooted toward the rear of the ledge, and took a quick moment to catch her breath before shifting into search-and-rescue mode. She needed to check his vitals, make certain he was beyond help. She prayed she would detect a heartbeat, but her gut said the organ had stopped long ago.
“Woo-hoo!” Piper shouted from overhead. “Beat you.”
Fighting the wave of nausea roiling through her, Kayden stretched out her index and middle finger, feeling for a pulse.
Just as she’d suspected. Nothing.
“Kayden?” Piper’s voice grew closer, nearly directly overhead.
Kayden glanced up, shielding her eyes from the sun, as Piper leaned over the top of the face, more than fifty feet above. Her infectious smile faded as her big brown eyes fixed on the crumpled form beside Kayden.
Kayden cleared her throat. “We’ve got a downed climber on the ledge.”
She swallowed. “Dead.”
“I’ll tell the guys.” Piper pulled the radio from her harness.
Kayden nodded. “I’m coming up. Have Jake call it in.”
Wow! That hook brought plenty adrenaline even to the readers. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website: www.danipettrey.com (includes a lot of fun reader extras)
I love having you on my blog. Thank you for keeping me on your marketing list.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Silenced - Christianbook.com
Silenced (Alaskan Courage) - Amazon
Silenced (Alaskan Courage Book #4) - Kindle
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