Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Welcome to Penny Zeller, author of Hailee

Welcome to Penny Zeller, whose latest book, Hailee, released September 2011. So, let's dive right in to our interview with Penny.

First, Penny, tell us a little about yourself.

Hi Pam! Thank you for hosting me on your blog. It’s great to be here! I am a wife, mom, and author of several books and numerous magazine articles. I also write a humor blog “A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author” . I am an active volunteer in my community, serving as a women’s Bible study small-group leader and co-organizing a women’s prayer group. My passion is to use the gift of the written word to glorify God and to benefit His Kingdom. I devote my time to assisting and nurturing women and children into a closer relationship with God. However, all that being said, my greatest ministry is to, with my husband Lon, raise our two daughters for Christ. When I’m not dreaming up new characters for books, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and camping, hiking, canoeing, gardening, and playing volleyball.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?

I was an avid reader as a child. I loved Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mysteries and read every copy of those books I could get my hands on! I also loved The Little House on the Prairie series.

Tell us about your latest book.

Hailee is the third book in my Montana Skies Historical Romance Series, which began with McKenzie and Kaydie. Following is a short blurb -

For years, orphan Hailee Annigan was just a ragamuffin in the Cincinnati streets, stealing food to keep her two younger brothers fed. Her thievery landed her in a home for delinquent youngsters, where her life was changed, thanks to her teachers. Now, nineteen-year-old Hailee excitedly heads to Montana to be a teacher, yet she's still plagued by her shameful past and the fear of never seeing her brothers again.

Based on his upbringing in high-society Boston, no one would have guessed that Nate Adams would attend seminary and become a church pastor in rugged Montana. Even now, Nate's parents refuse to put aside their own plans for his future and accept his calling.

When their paths converge, an immediate attraction draws Hailee and Nate together, even as the pressures and demands of others pull them apart. Can the unlikely pair come to terms with their pasts and face the future together?

I’m excited about the new trailer for Hailee, which was just produced and can be found at

Pam again: I can so relate to the character Hailee because my heroine in Stealing Jake was a former pickpocket and street urchin, much like Hailee. Shucks, the two might have even known each other except for the fact that Livy hailed from Chicago and Hailee grew up in Cincinnati.

So, next question: Are you a plotter or a pantzer?

I am definitely a pantzer! *grins*

So, you just open a Word document and let 'er fly, huh? lol Sometimes that's when all the fun starts! Does your faith affect your writing? How?

My faith influences my writing 100%. In November of 2000, I gave my writing to the Lord. I quit my fulltime job with a social services agency to stay home with my infant daughter. That was the start of my writing career, beginning with magazine articles in national and regional publications. I am humbled that God has called me into a ministry of writing.

Because faith plays such an important role in my writing, I love the opportunity it has given me to share Christ with others. Being able to talk about my career has opened the door to sharing the Gospel in countless ways.

How exciting that you were able to stay at home full-time and write. That lets me know that there should be lots more Penny Zeller books in the works, and I know your readers are chomping at the bit for the next one. So, give us a taste of what are you working on right now?

Next on the agenda is my historical romance series set in the post-Civil War era. I recently completed the first draft of the first book and am hard at work on the second.

Post-Civil War era? Oh, that sounds exciting! You've been at this writing gig for a while now. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

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 is for the secular or the inspirational 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.” Join forces with other Christian writers. After all, we are all working for the same Boss.

I speak from experience when I say that when He closes one door, He opens a (much better) one and I firmly believe that if God calls you, He will guide you.

I give more tips for writers, including sticking with writing and how to prepare for a writer’s conference here:

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?

Being a writer has been my dream since the time I was seven. However, if I wasn’t a writer, I would love to be a television talk show host for a Christian TV show. I think that would be a lot of fun!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I love to connect with my readers at my website
my blog,
on Twitter at, and
on Facebook where I post updates about new books, giveaways, events, making a difference in the lives of others, and Just-for-Fun Fridays.

Thank you again, Pam, for having me as your guest!

Thank you for being here, Penny! I enjoyed your visit and look forward to having you again. Congratulations on your lastest release. The reviews are pouring in and I know readers are enjoying reading all about Hailee and Nate.

Penny Zeller’s passion is to use the gift of the written word to glorify God and to benefit His Kingdom. She devotes her time to assisting, encouraging, and nurturing women and children into a closer relationship with Christ. When she’s not dreaming up new characters for books, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and camping, hiking, canoeing, gardening, and playing volleyball.

Penny has graciously agree to give away one copy of Hailee. Commenters who leave an email address and/or sign up for Pam Hillman's mailing list will be in the drawing for Hailee.

Penny and I will be in and out all day to keep you company, so drop by, sit a spell, and let's chat about ragamuffin street kids who grow up to be beautiful women and marry men of their dreams!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

And the Winner of the Seeker Loaded Kindle Is....

Wendy N from St. Cloud, FL!

Wendy's brand new Latest Generation Kindle comes pre-loaded with the following
Seeker books:

The Officer's Secret by Debby Giusti
The Rancher's Reunion by Tina Radcliffe
Petticoat Ranch by Mary Connealy
Steadfast Soldier by Cheryl Wyatt
A Family For Faith by Missy Tippens
Dreaming of Home by Glynna Kaye
Winter's End by Ruth Logan Herne
Rocky Mountain Hero by Audra Harders
One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson
A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman
Courting Miss Adelaide by Janet Dean
Sushi for One by Camy Tang
Love by the Book by Cara Lynn James

And, the list wouldn't be complete without adding my debut release
Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman.

Congratulations, Wendy N!!!!

And special thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway, joined my mailing list, told your friends, and those who've let me know how much they enjoyed Stealing Jake.

Stay tuned for more contests in the future!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Kindle Contest has Closed!

The deadline to register for the loaded Kindle has now passed. The winner (how exciting!) will be announced in Calico Trails, Seekerville , Facebook and Twitter on October 8th, 2011.

But plans are in the works for another exciting giveaway! So sign up for my mailing list and I'll announce in the newsletter as soon as the details are ironed out.

Happy Trails!