Author Interview with Dani Pettrey

We’re thrilled to welcome Bethany House author Dani Pettrey to the INSPYs blog. Homeschooling mom of two and author of the best-selling Alaskan Courage series, her second novel, Shattered is a finalist in the contemporary romance/romantic suspense category.

Summary from GoodreadsBook - Shattered

A Thrilling New Romantic Suspense from the Genre’s Newest Star

Piper McKenna couldn’t be more thrilled that her prodigal brother, Reef, has returned to Yancey, Alaska, after five years. But her happiness is short-lived when Reef appears at her house covered in blood. A fellow snowboarder has been killed–but despite the evidence, Reef swears he’s innocent. And Piper believes him.

Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he’s also sworn to find the truth. Piper is frustrated with his need for facts over faith, but he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth may mean risking Landon’s career.

With Piper waging her own search, the two head deep into Canada’s rugged backcountry–and unexpected complications. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.

Dani Pettrey

Dani and her family enjoying a vacation – full of fun the McKenna family would appreciate!

What do you do outside the world of books?

I’m finishing up my last year of homeschooling. My youngest daughter graduates in a few weeks so that’ll be a big change, but now we have our grandson who I have the pleasure of watching a couple afternoons a week. I love to read, travel, and spend time outdoors. I’m also a coffee and chocolate fanatic.

What are the challenges or benefits of incorporating faith into your storyline?

I think the challenge is to weave the faith element into the storyline in an organic way. You don’t want to put a faith element in the story just for the sake of having it there or to meet some publisher’s guidelines. You want it to already be part of the story—part of the character’s life and journey. The benefits are vast—sharing the Gospel with others, learning more about God as my characters do, and deepening my relationship with Christ are just three examples.

Landon and Piper

Meet Landon and Piper

What do you hope readers take away from Shattered?

Actually, I think this review sums it up best:

I liked the message that people can change through the transforming power of Christ! Even the greatest of sinners. We’re also reminded that being a Christian doesn’t make our journey easy, in fact, it probably won’t be, but you can have the confidence that it will be filled with purpose and at its end an eternal paradise. That’s hope!  —Sherry Kuhn of Love 2 Read Novels.

What were the challenges (literary, research, psychological, theological, or logistical) in bringing the book to life?

The greatest challenge was life at that time. My mom was very ill and passed away the week before Shattered was due. Writing it while taking care of her and seeing her decline health-wise was really difficult. A close friend read the first draft and said she could see my heart breaking through the story. It took some time afterwards and quite a lot of revisions to refine it into the story it is, but I would say that was my greatest challenge.


Thank you for joining us today, Dani. It was a pleasure to host you. Learn more about Dani’s books, browse fun extras related to her novels plus more, all on her website.


  • Thanks so much for hosting me!

    • Rissi

      It was our pleasure, Dani. Thank you for joining us. 🙂

  • Staci

    The Alaskan Courage series has been great. I’ve read all four of them. Shattered is my favorite so far!