Submerged, Alaskan Courage Series #1Submerged, Alaskan Courage Series #1
Dani Pettrey
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Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey, Alaska, again. She has a past reputation, and Yancey's a town that doesn't forget. She's returned only to bury her beloved aunt killed in the mysterious plane crash.

Cole McKenna faces dangerous rescue dives and he faces the fear that a murderer may be threatening his town. But facing the reality of Bailey's reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart...

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Dani PettreyDani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom, and author. 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.

Favorite Bible Verse: Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV) He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.


 Our Interview with Dani Pettrey


Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a wife, a Christian, a mother and I home school my daughter who is in high school. My oldest is in her freshman year of college. My husband and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary this fall. We live on the East Coast and really enjoy being so near the ocean and the mountains.
What is your favorite Bible verse (translation too, please)? Why?

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV

I love it because it explains why death is so hard for us to deal with. It is because God has set eternity into our hearts. We know He has created us for more than this life, this world.

What was your inspiration to write Submerged?

I watched a movie about cave divers and it got me thinking what type of person would pursue such a dangerous job for a living. I find extreme athletes and people who pursue adventurous careers simply fascinating. I began diving (no pun intended) into all the extreme sports and adventure professions and the McKenna family was born.

Do you have a Russian background?

Actually, I do, but it is very far back in our ancestry. My maternal great-grandmother’s parents were Hutterites. Their family originated in Germany, but fled to Russia to escape persecution. Empress Catherine the Great invited farmers from Central Europe to flee persecution and settle the Volga region. My great-great-grandparents were born in Russia. Their family immigrated to North Dakota in the late 1800’s.

Are you a diver?

I have gone through the basic Diver certification training, but have found I prefer to swim only to the depths I can go on my own. My husband, however, loves to scuba dive.

How much time have you spent in Alaska?

Sadly none, but I would absolutely love to visit. My dream trip would include seeing the Aurora Borealis, cruising along the Inside Passage, sea kayaking in Prince William Sound, bear viewing in Kodiak, hiking Denali, a flightseeing trip of Mt. McKinley, Glacier/Wildlife Cruise in Kenai Fjords National Park, and of course, being a moose fan, no trip would be complete without seeing my favorite animal.
How much of the story comes from personal experience?

Not very much with the exception of Bailey’s past mistakes. When I came to Christ as an adult, I had a lot of past mistakes that I was very ashamed of. God has been kind and gentle in helping work past that and to truly accept the new creation I am in Him.

How much research did Submerged take?

A lot. I found myself researching Alaska, Russian history, cave diving, adventure companies, search and rescue teams, and the list goes on. Fortunately, I absolutely love research. The hardest part for me is stopping so I can write the book.

What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing Submerged?

What a great question. There were so many fascinating things I learned while researching for Submerged—the amazing courage of dive rescue volunteers, the vast and beautiful landscape of Alaska, but I think what I found most interesting was Russia’s connection to Alaska. I had no idea how long Russia had a claim to Alaska, the depth of their involvement there and the amount of cultural heritage that is still present.

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
The biggest challenge I find is trying to balance everything--homeschooling my daughter, taking care of my family, maintaining close friendships, writing, researching and now marketing. It’s definitely hard to juggle it all and my deepest prayer is for guidance on how to best balance everything God has so kindly entrusted me with.
What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

I love the entire creative process…from developing an idea, to researching, writing the first draft (probably my most favorite part) and then shaping that rough draft into something that actually resembles a story.
What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?

I have been a member of ACFW and RWA for years. Both provide a wealth of resources, training in the craft and the latest publishing news. ACFW also provides a wonderful way to connect with other Christian writers, both published and not yet published. I cannot recommend ACFW enough.

What new projects are on the horizon?

Shattered will be available February 2013. It is the second novel in my Alaskan Courage series and will follow Piper McKenna’s story. I am really excited about her story and had a ton of fun writing it.

What message would you like your readers to take from reading Submerged?
That we find wholeness and fulfillment in Christ alone.

What are your favorite fiction books to use in homeschooling?

There are so many, but my favorites would include Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Bronze Bow, The Screwtape Letters, and In His Steps.


What is your greatest achievement?

I consider it more of a blessing than an achievement, but I would have to say homeschooling my daughters. I joyfully still have one at home, but my eldest is a freshman in college this year and it was such a tremendous blessing to be able to homeschool her since kindergarten.
What do you do to get away from it all?

One of three things: go to the beach, go for a hike, or curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee, some dark chocolate and a really good book.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Just that I hope readers will enjoy Submerged and getting to know the McKenna family. I fell in love with them and I hope readers will too.

Thank you so much for the interview. We have been shopping with CBD since my girls were little. We buy so much of our homeschool supplies and pleasure reading from Christianbook that it is a real honor to be featured on your website.



Dani Pettrey
CBD Price: $30.49

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