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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Interview and GIVEAWAY!!!

Penny Zeller Interview!!!

Image of Penny Zeller

Please tell us a little about yourself (your Bio): Thank you so much for having me as your guest, Amada. I’m thrilled to be here!
I am the author of several books, including McKenzie, Kaydie, and Hailee in the Montana Skies Historical Romance Series and my most recent nonfiction book, 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference. I have also written numerous magazine articles in national and regional publications on a variety of topics ranging from inspirational, health, current events, people profiles, parenting, and how-to articles. I also author the blog A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author.
I am an active volunteer in my community, devoting my time to assisting and nurturing women and children into a closer relationship with Christ.

What is your favorite Bible verse? I have two favorite Bible verses, a short one and a long one. My favorite short verse is Psalm 19:14 while my favorite long verse is the entire verse of Psalm 91.

What fun thing can you tell us about yourself that we don't know? Many people don’t know that I met my husband through a prank phone call while we were in high school. Funny, but true!

What do you enjoy doing when you're not writing? When I’m not writing, I enjoy playing volleyball, camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, gardening, and spending time with my family.

How did you become involved in writing? Great question! I have wanted to be a writer since I was seven years old. I rewrote Bible stories – my own little grade school commentary of sorts. Later in elementary school, I wrote more stories and “published” them in homemade cardboard wallpaper “books.” I also placed in the Young Authors contest and published my first poem. Fast forward to the year 2000, when I started writing magazine articles, followed by books.

Where do you write? Do you have a dedicated office or a corner or nook in a room? I have an office in our home with a large window and a fireplace. I love my office, but right now (just between us) it needs a bit of organization!

Can you use 3 words that describe you? Wow! Fun question! Let’s see, I would say loyal, silly, and sensitive.

Do you always know the title of your books before you write them? Most of the time I know the titles before I write my books, although the titles are usually only “working titles” and can change as the story progresses.

Please tell us about McKenzie. Sure, Amada. Below is the 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.

What do you hope readers takeaway after reading this book? The biggest theme of this book is that God can and does change hearts, even the most selfish of hearts.

Where did you get the idea for McKenzie? I’ve always been intrigued by mail-order bride stories from the 1800s. After a car accident, followed by back-to-back bacterial infections for seven months, my normally extremely active lifestyle came to an abrupt halt. It was during that time that I sat down and did something I’ve always wanted to do – write historical romance. The Lord took something bad and used it for good.

Did you have to do research? Yes. I spend a lot of time doing research for my historical romance novels. It’s much like a half hour of writing, 15 minutes of research, a half hour of writing, 15 minutes of research… I have also had the privilege of visiting historical places and viewing numerous historical photos, which I absolutely love.

How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book? I have loved to write since I was in second grade. My first book, a children’s picture book, was published in 2003.

What are you working on now? I’m working on two different three-book series, one set in Nebraska just after the Civil War, and the other set in the late 1800s in the Wyoming Territory.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out? God calls us all to do different things for His Kingdom. If He has called you to write, seek His guidance. Never give up, even when you feel like it or when someone has unkindly criticized you. Seek to please and honor Him in whatever you write, whether it be for the secular or nonsecular market; whether it be fiction, nonfiction, poetry, song lyrics, or a screenplay. Find a mentor and be open to ideas and suggestions from one who’s “been there, done that.” One final note, join forces with other Christian writers.  After all, we are all working for the same Boss.

What encouragement could you give to writers who are playing the 
waiting game to get published? That can be such a difficult time. You’ve worked hard on a manuscript and then you must wait, wait, wait for that day when you receive a response. I would encourage writers to continue writing during that time, whether on the same project or a different project.

Please tell our readers where they can get your book. McKenzie (as well as all of the books in my Montana Skies Series) is available wherever books are sold, whether online or in your favorite local bookstore. McKenzie is available at

Christian Book Distributors: (both ebook and paperback are available)

Amazon: (both Kindle and paperback are available)

Where can our readers find you? I love to connect with my readers via my website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Thank you again, Amada, for allowing me to be your guest. I appreciate all you do to help spread the word about Christian fiction. Have a wonderful week!

Thank you Penny for being my guest! :)  I enjoyed getting to know you better and reading this whole series!  May God inspire and bless you beyond belief each and every day! :) ~ASC

McKenzie by Penny Zeller Giveaway!!!
McKenzie (Montana Skies #1)
Penny is graciously giving away a copy of McKenzie the first book in her Montana Sky series.

The winner will be emailed and must provide their phone number for shipping purposes and their physical address (if print copy is won).  The winner will have two weeks to respond; if they don't a new winner will be chosen.
If the winner is in the U.S. you have a choice of paperback or an ebook copy.  If the winner is international you would receive an ebook copy.

Enter through Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read my reviews of Penny's Series here:


  1. Very cute blog!
    Good luck with your giveaway!

    1. Thank you SO much Beth! When I set up my blog I was afraid it looked to wild. I love color, especially orange, and sometimes I'm afraid I go a bit over board LOL! But everyone seems to like the look and I'm very very very happy about that!
      Thank you for Following! :)

    2. Hello Beth ~
      I agree - isn't Amada's blog great? Colorful and well done - and yes, she has great giveaways. Thanks for stopping by!
      Penny Zeller

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you CatiLou! And thanks for stopping by! :)

    2. Hi CatiLou ~
      Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words about my interview. It was fun answering Amada's questions - she had some great ones!

      By the way, I have a cousin named CatiLou (although spelled differently) and a book with the title "Kaydie." Such a cute name!

      Penny Zeller

  3. I really enjoyed this interview and would love to win. I am also following you...I love your blog! My e-mail is

    Thank you!

    1. Thank you Johnette, and thank's for following! :) I really enjoyed getting to know Penny more also :)

    2. Hello Johnette,
      I agree, isn't Amada's blog great? She is such a gracious host and I really appreciated her taking the time to arrange the interview and host me.

      Thanks for the kind words about my interview and also for "liking" my Facebook author page!

      Penny Zeller

  4. Hello Amada~
    Thank you so much for hosting me. I am honored to be your guest. I'm looking forward to chatting with your readers and am excited to see who wins.

    Thanks again!

    Penny Zeller

    1. Thank you so much for all your kind words and for being my guest. Just a few more days and we'll know! :D

      Hugs, Amada

  5. Thanks for the giveaway! Love your site.

    1. Thank you so much Diana! :) Best wishes ~ASC

    2. Hi Diana ~ Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment for chance to win. Have a great weekend!
      Penny Zeller


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