Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Author interview~Penny Zeller~Book Giveaway

Here is the link of my review of McKenzie

Penny thanks for taking the time to visit us today! I appreciate you answering these few questions. It will be fun to get to know you better. Tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you so much for having me here, Wanda!

How long did you write before you were published?

In November 2000, I quit my fulltime job as a caseworker at a social services agency to stay home with my infant daughter. At that time, I dedicated my writing to the Lord and began writing numerous articles for national and regional publications and anthologies. My first article was published in June 2001.
My first book, “Hollyhocks,” was published in 2003. My second book, “Wyoming Treasures” was published in 2005; followed by “The Decision” (an ebook) in 2007; “77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference: Ideas and Activities for Serving Others” in 2008; “McKenzie” in September 2010; and “Kaydie” in March 2011.
Writing is my ministry and I pray God will use it to impact lives for Christ.

Tell us about “McKenzie,” the featured book.

I am so blessed about the release of “McKenzie,” the first book in my Montana Skies Series. Here is a short blurb:

Desperation to rescue her younger sister from an abusive husband prompts McKenzie Worthington to run away from her stately Boston home as a mail-order bride for a rancher in the rugged Montana Territory.

Desperation also prompted Zachary Sawyer to post the ad for a bride, and he eagerly awaits the woman God has chosen for his wife.

When they meet, McKenzie tries to keep her distance, but she can't help feeling attracted to Zach and his selfless ways. What will become of her plan to annul the marriage when she finds her sister?

I would love to share, too, Wanda, about the interesting testimony behind “McKenzie.” My family and I were in a car accident a couple years ago where I suffered neck and leg injuries. During that time period of seven months, I was also hit with back-to-back bacterial infections. Because of the injuries and illness, I was pretty much homebound and my active athletic lifestyle suddenly became limited. I look back now and praise God that He gave me McKenzie, as well as two other manuscripts (another historical and a contemporary) I wrote in that seven month period of pain and illness. God took what was a difficult time for me and turned it around to something positive that can be used for His Kingdom – taking the time to write the books that I had always wanted to write.

He has since healed me and I pray daily that the path I have chosen in life will glorify Him. I think that’s why Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “’For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” is so close to my heart.
Thanks for sharing that with us Penny!

Is there any person who has been a strong influence in your writing journey?

When I was in second grade, my teacher, Mrs. Vernon, encouraged me to never stop writing stories about Jesus (I began my writing career rewriting Bible stories and publishing them in homemade cardboard books).
In addition, my husband and children have been strong supporters of my writing. As far as influencers or mentors, I would have to say authors Sharlene MacLaren and Amanda Cabot have been wonderful mentors to me.

What message do you want to be clear to your readers?

I hope my readers will get from “McKenzie”- and all of my novels- the power of God’s love, redemption, hope, and forgiveness. I want them to catch a glimpse inside my characters’ lives and see that God can and does change hearts.

What are some of your likes and dislikes? Your hobbies, interests? Where do you like to vacation?

I love spending time with my family and hiking, camping, canoeing, playing volleyball, reading, and gardening. My family and I love to camp in the summers and often head to the mountains in our travel trailer. I dislike mean people and asparagus.

Tell us a little-known fact about yourself that readers may not know.

What a fun question to answer! *grins* Let’s see, I think one of the most interesting things would be how I met my husband, Lon, of almost 19 years. I met him through a prank phone call when my sister, cousin, and I found his football picture in the newspaper and decided to call him one day. I thought he was just the cutest! (He went to a neighboring school and was a state champion football player, while I was a cheerleader at my school). We met in person for the first time the following week at the local gas station where I told him my real name. (Having an overactive imagination allowed me to come up with just the perfect name when I prank phone-called him). Lon rode up on his motorcycle and I drove up in my old-fashioned high school clunker. Our eyes met…and the rest, as they say, is history!
That is so sweet!
How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
I pray each morning that I would get accomplished only what the Lord would have me accomplish that day. I then make it a priority to work on my writing, which is about 35 hours a week. My novels vary in how long they take me to write. I’ve written one in as little as two months; and I have one novel I’m still working on years later because of the immense detail and the emotional intertwining of lives.

What are you currently reading?

I am reading a fantastic love story by Christian Author Melinda Evaul titled “Grow Old With Me.” I’m also reading and studying Acts in the Bible.
I just finished the same book today. Wow!

Do you grow flowers or vegetables? What are your favorite flowers?

I absolutely love flowers! Each Mother’s Day, my husband and children take me to the local nursery and I go crazy buying flowers (flowers are such an addiction for me and one of the most beautiful of God’s creations!) I come home and we, as a family, plant them in numerous pots. Then, because we live in a cold climate with short summers, I put all of the pots in the garage during the evenings until the nights are warmer. My most favorite flower is the daisy, but I also love petunias and pansies. J We also plant a small vegetable garden each summer.

What are you writing now?

The second book in my Montana Skies Series, Kaydie, just released this month, and I just finished the third book in the series, Hailee, which is scheduled for release in September. I'm also working on a historical romance series that takes place in the Post-Civil War Era. I recently finished book one in the series and have started writing book two.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

I love to connect with my readers at
my website,
my humor blog, A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author:, on Twitter at, and
on Facebook at
And thanks for spending this time with us, Penny.

Thank you so much for allowing me the privilege of being a guest on your blog, Wanda. God’s blessings to you and your family.
We wish you much success.

Penny Zeller will give away this wonderful book (McKenzie) to one of you!
Leave a comment with your name and email address. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address.

Here are the ways to get extra entries:
~Be or become a follower +1
~Be or become an email subscriber +1
~Be or become a networked blog follower +1

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- ENTRY DEADLINE March 27, 2011


rubynreba said...

Great review and interview. Love the cover.

rubynreba said...

GFC Follower

Diana Flowers said...

Please enter me for Mckenzie! I "met" Penny on another blog and she is such a beautiful person inside and out. She already knows this, but I love books that take place in Montana. My dream has always been to live there on a ranch.

Diana Flowers said...

+1-I am a gfc follower
+1-I am a subscriber via email
+1-I am networked blog follower

apple blossom said...

thanks for the interview
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

apple blossom said...

gfc follower

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

apple blossom said...

email subscriber

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Cindy said...

Would love to win giveaway. Story sounds so good. What one would do for love of family and finding love along the way.
Thank you.

Patsy said...

I've been wanting to read this book. Count me in on the giveaway. Can't wait to read it - I know it will be great!

Unknown said...

Great review of your book!

Ann Lee Miller said...

I'd love to read Penny's book.

Ann Lee Miller said...

I'm a follower. :)

Penny Zeller said...

Hi Rubynreba, Diana, Apple Blossom, Cindy, Patsy, and Joanne,

Thank you for stopping by Wanda's blog and leaving a comment!

Rubynreba~ thank you for your nice compliment regarding the cover and the interview/review. You made my day :)

Diana ~ you are such a sweetheart - it's so nice to see you here! One of these days, we have to get you to Montana :)

Cindy ~ thank you for your sweet words about my book! I appreciate you :)

Patsy ~ Wow! I love your enthusiasm :)Thank you so much!

Joanne and Appleblossom ~ I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview and review :)

God's blessings to you all and thank you again for stopping by.

Hugs & Blessings,

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interview, and for having Penny on your blog! I have added this book to my list of books to read....sounds very interesting.
I am a follower and an email subscriber.
Blessings....Joy Hannabass

Pam said...

I'm a follower and a subscriber. Thanks for the interview with Penny. I've read other reviews of this book and think it would be a good book to read. I'd love to win it.
"Grow Old With Me" sounds like a good book too so I'll have to look for that one as well.

Jo said...

Please enter me for McKenzie. I loved the interview and the cover of the book.


misskallie2000 said...

Love this story line. Know I will enjoy reading Penny's book McKenzie.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Email subscriber

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Courtney said...

Sounds like a great book! Please count me in!

Diana Flowers said...

Hey, Penny, good to see you, too! After you get me to Montana I will need someplace to live...the horse ranch will do just fine! lol Keep praying your sweet prayers for me...I'm starting to see a little breakthrough. Thanks alot, sweetie!

lorlyn63 said...

This is the kind of stories I enjoy reading. I would love to be signed up for your giveaway and thank you for the opportunity.

Jan Marie said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. I confess that I already own it but I like it so well that I would love to have another copy to share with others.


Jan Marie said...

I am a follower via GFC.


Pegg Thomas said...

I just started reading McKenzie this afternoon, I'm hooked already! The winner will not be disappointed. :)

Charlotte Kay said...

I am excited to be considered fot this giveaway.
I have book two and find that I need book one to enjoy the past history of the main character.
charlovesmark at gmail dot com

I am a gfc follower
I subscribe
I am a network blog follower

Penny Zeller said...

Hello Ann Lee, Joy, Pam, Jo, Miss Kallie, Courtney, Lorlyn, Jan Marie, Pegg, Diana, and Charlotte Kay ~

Thank you all so much for stopping by Wanda's blog and entering to win a copy of McKenzie.

Pegg ~ your comment made my day-I'm so glad you are enjoying reading McKenzie!

Jo ~ thank you for your kind comments about my interview and the cover. I just received word that Whitaker House is designing the cover for Hailee (the third book due out in September) and I’m so excited to see the finished cover!

Diana ~ I am glad to hear that you are seeing a breakthrough. I will continue to pray for you :)

Miss Kalllie, Lorlyn, Ann Lee, & Courtney ~ thank you all for your sweet comments! It’s great to see you here.

Jan Marie ~ thank you for the ultimate compliment of wanting to win a copy to share with others :)

Charlotte Kay ~ thank you for stopping by - I would love to know what you thought of the second book, Kaydie.

Pam ~ I’m so glad to hear about the other reviews you’ve about McKenzie. And I agree – Grow Old With Me is a great book and the author is a sweetheart.

Joy ~ I just love your name and “splashes of joy.” Thank you for your encouragement!

I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your week.


Courtney said...

I also am a follower and email subscriber. Forgot to mention that in my previous post.


Diana Flowers said...

BTW Carman sent me and thank you again, Penny, for your prayers!

Casey said...

Looks like a super good book! Thanks for the interview and a chance to win.

Anonymous said...

I love the story of how she met her husband!

grannyvon said...

I have just finished a 'Montana Series' by Tracie Peterson and it was wonderful. Now if I could win this book I could start another series and I know it will be just as good. Thanks for the chance

grannyvon said...

I subscribe by email

grannyvon said...

I follow on Networked Blogs.

Charity U said...

Please enter me! I really want to read this. :)


Tori said...

Sounds like a great book!!

Jo said...

I love the cover of this book and really want to read it. Please enter me!


karenk said...

thanks for the opportunity to read this fabulous novel...

i'm a follower

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

CAT said...

I am so grateful for authors who write clean books! I've been wanting to read Penny Zeller and hope I win one! 061961(at)GMAIL(dot)(COM)

Penny Zeller said...

Good Afternoon, Courtney, Cas, Jettaspaghetta, Grannyvon, Charity, Tori, Jo, Karen, and Cat ~

I am thrilled that you stopped by Wanda's blog to read my interview and enter for a chance to win McKenzie. Thank you all so much for blessing me with your kind words about my book. Jettaspaghetta ~ I'm glad you got a kick out of how my husband and I met. He still tells me to this day that it wasn't "parachute pants" he was wearing that day, but I beg to differ :) It was in fact "parachute pants" (and now it's in writing, LOL!)

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week and thank you again for stopping by.


Courtney said...

Sounds like such a great book, can't wait to read it! Thanks for the chance to win!


I am a follower!
I am a subscriber!

Unknown said...

Can't wait to read this book. Enter me for the opportunity to receive this free.

Jenn Kia and Emily said...

I clicked over from Carmen's blog. Please enter my name for a chance to win this book.

Penny Zeller said...

Happy Saturday, Courtney, Twilah, and Jenn Kia & Emily~

Thank you for stopping by Wanda's blog and commenting for a chance to win a copy of McKenzie. Time is winding down and I can't wait to see who wins!

A special thank you to Wanda for allowing me the privilege of being on her blog. Bloggers have no idea how much we authors appreciate them and Wanda is one of the sweetest and most thoughtful. Thank you again!


Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed the interview, can't wait to read your latest book. Carmen sent me.

true_sheila at yahoo dot com