Interview with Dani Pettrey [Cold Shot Blog Tour & Giveaway!]

I'm so excited to have one of my favorite romantic suspense authors, Dani Pettrey, here at The Artist Librarian!  Read on for an exclusive interview and a chance to win her latest novel, Cold Shot!

The Artist Librarian Cold Shot Interview & Giveaway with Dani Pettrey - Ends March 7th, 2016!
The Artist Librarian: Thanks for visiting The Artist Librarian, Dani! Can you tell us a little about Cold Shot and the inspiration behind it?
--Dani Pettrey: Cold Shot is the story of four childhood friends who have grown apart after one of them goes missing just before their college graduation. When modern remains are found at Gettysburg, the remaining three friends who are all in law enforcement are brought together to work the case. 

The inspiration behind Cold Shot was two-fold. On one hand, Cold Shot started with an idea from my editor that I took, played with and completely turned upside down. It went from a story about a re-enactor at Gettysburg to modern remains being found at park, which lead the characters down and dangerous and winding trail of mystery and suspense.

On the other hand, I wanted to write a series set in my own backyard. Maryland is such an amazing state. We have everything from mountains to the ocean, a major metropolitan area to rolling farmlands, and amazing towns and suburbs in between. I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay and I’m ecstatic to share it with readers.  

Photo courtesy of Dani Pettrey
That's awesome!  I wonder if you felt more pressure to accurately represent the Chesapeake Bay area because you're from there?  I know I would!

What comes first: the plot or the characters? I really enjoyed your last series, Alaskan Courage, and was curious to know if you had the plots for each McKenna siblings' book in mind when you pitched the series or if you came up with the characters first, then the story?  Was it the same process for the Chesapeake Valor books?

--For me I have a premise in mind. For example for the Alaskan Courage series it all began with a movie I happened to watch with my family about cave divers. It got me thinking—I wonder what people are crazy enough to do something so skilled, amazing and dangerous for a living. From there I started to think how fun it would be to write about a family of adult siblings who pursue adrenaline-packed adventure for a living. Since I’d seen the cave diving movie, I knew I wanted the eldest sibling to be a cave diver and then I moved to setting. After some research I decided on Alaska as the perfect setting for a wide range of adventures, a gorgeous backdrop and a wilderness with an innate sense of danger (if you aren’t properly prepared). 

With Chesapeake Valor it began with the setting, then the characters and then a ‘what if?’ Once I have those factors I sit down and write. I love seeing the story unfold as I write and getting to know the characters during my first draft. 
Alaskan Courage series (c.) Bethany House Publishers
Alaska was the perfect setting for the McKenna family's stories!  I can't wait to get started reading Cold Shot!  As The Artist Librarian, I have to ask you about the book cover design process.  What was that like for you as an author?  Do you have input on the cover art?

--My publisher is so gracious. They ask for images of whom I picture as my hero and heroine, along with any other images I’ve used for inspiration. I’m a very visual person so I typically have a good number of pictures to send them. They also ask if I have any ideas for the background or if there are any book covers that I particularly like the feel of. My publishers have completely exceeded my best expectations with each and every cover. I’m very blessed to get the privilege of getting to work with such a talented team. 

Great job, Bethany House Publishers!  Their graphics/art team is one of my favorites.  What I really liked about the Alaskan Courage covers was how much they coordinated as a series.  I can't wait to see how Chesapeake Valor evolves ...

Finally, why should people read fiction? Why do you write fiction?
--I think people should read fiction because it lets you travel to far off places, to experience life through another’s eyes, to live vicariously through others—all by simply opening the cover of a book. 
I write fiction because I love the power of story. I love how story can transport you into a completely different world, how it can make you laugh or cry, and how a good story stays with you forever. 
The librarian in me loves this answer so much! ^_^ Thanks for stopping by and giving us a "behind the scenes" look at your work.  I hope you'll visit again soon, Dani!

--Thank you so much for having me!  ~Dani 
About the Author:
Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the acclaimed author of the brand new romantic suspense Chesapeake Valor series, as well as the well-loved Alaskan Courage series which includes her bestselling novels Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, Silenced, and Sabotaged. 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, where they enjoy time with their daughters, son-in-law, and super-adorable grandson. You can connect with Dani on her website, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

(c.) 2016 by Bethany House
About the Book:
In college, Griffin McCray and his four best friends had their lives planned out. Griffin and Luke Gallagher would join the Baltimore PD. Declan Gray would head to the FBI, and Parker Mitchell would go on to graduate school as a crime scene analyst. But then Luke vanished before graduation and their world–and friendships–crumbled.

Now Griffin is a park ranger at Gettysburg, having left life as a SWAT-team sniper when a case went bad. The job is mostly quiet–until the day he captures two relic hunters uncovering skeletal remains near Little Round Top. Griffin just wants the case to go away, but charming forensic anthropologist Finley Scott determines that the body is modern–a young social justice lawyer missing since spring–and all evidence points to the work of an expert sniper.
When FBI agent Declan Gray takes over the case, past and present collide. Griffin soon realizes he’ll need to confront some of the darkest days of his life if he–and those he cares about–are going to escape a downward spiral of murder that crosses continents.

GIVEAWAY! Bethany House Publishing has graciously offered a chance for one of my readers to win a paperback copy of Cold Shot! (U.S.A. residents, 18 years and older only.) The drawing will be held March 7, 2016 and the winner will have 24 hours to respond to the email. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below (please read the full terms and conditions there). If you have trouble, contact me and I will enter you manually.

Bonus Giveaway: Bethany House is also running a Maryland-themed sweepstakes with over $500 in prizes! Click the banner below for more info:

Enter the COLD SHOT Sweepstakes from Author Dani Pettrey

What'd you think of Dani's interview?  What would you ask her?  Feel free to leave any questions or comments below!
Interview with Dani Pettrey [Cold Shot Blog Tour & Giveaway!]  Interview with Dani Pettrey [Cold Shot Blog Tour & Giveaway!] Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 3/02/2016 11:41:00 PM Rating: 5


  1. Sounds like a great book. I love Dani's Alaskan Courage books. Great interview I like te way she says she gets a story together

  2. Great interview! Love hearing about the process! Checked this out from our public library and LOVED it but would enjoy my own copy. :-) I've always enjoyed mystery and suspense and I particularly like Christian Romantic Suspense because it's clean. I enjoy some romance in a story but don't want it to be the focus of the story. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. I do read some Romantic Suspense (have read Dani's Alaskan Courage series). I like the ones that are heavier on the suspense than the romance, though. Would love to try Dani's new series!

  4. Great interview! Dani, what is your favorite part of the writing process?

    I love reading Christian fiction. Thank you for the giveaway.

  5. New book sounds great. I love mystery and suspense books.

  6. Romantic suspense is definitely my favorite genre because it keeps me interested and on the edge of my seat! Some of my favorite romantic suspense authors other than Dani are Lynette Eason, Terri Blackstock, Colleen Coble, Lisa Harris, Christy Barritt, and Dana Mentink just to name a few ;)

  7. Thank you for participating, ladies! I apologize for being AWOL this week --I have a huge exam I need to pass to graduate that's on Friday, so I've been studying for that. =) Congrats, Cheryl for winning Cold Shot! Your mailing info has been forwarded to the publisher. Hope to see you all around The Artist Librarian soon!

  8. Jen, thank you so much for hosting this wonderful interview and giveaway-- and right in the thick of your studies for the exam, too! I hope all went well there, and thank you again for all that you do. ~Amanda

    1. Thanks Amanda! I did pass my exam, so that's a relief! I just need to stay on top of my classes and I'll be good to graduate! ^_^

      It's been a pleasure working with you and Dani again on this blog tour!


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts! Comments are always welcomed and appreciated. In respect for others, please keep your comments PG/"family friendly" =)

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