Friday, November 18, 2011

Birthday Party Interview and Giveaway: Penny Zeller

Well, everyone, look who I got to come by on third day of my birthday party! None other than Penny Zeller! I’m so excited to welcome her. As you’ve seen from my reviews of “McKenzie” and “Hailee” this week, I really enjoyed both of those books. I also have a review of “Kaydie” on here. Since I’ve relished all three of those books in the Montana Skies series, I knew I had to have her come by again (yes, those of you who are extra alert may remember that she was here a few months ago…but I knew after reading “Hailee” that she had to come again. You can read that older interview here). Also, check out my first Cover Focus, in which I featured "Hailee." Click here!
Oh, and make sure you read the whole thing…there’s a giveaway at the end!
Without further ado, let’s begin!
Penny, I’m so glad you were able to come by!

It’s a pleasure to be here, Charity! Thank you so much for having me as your guest!
What gave you the idea, or inspired you to write specifically “Hailee,” and the whole Montana Skies series in general?
Hailee was inspired by a piece of mail I received regarding orphanages. I knew I wanted to write a story about a girl placed in an orphanage and how she came to find herself in that predicament. 

My Montana Skies Series actually came about in an interesting way. McKenzie (the first book) was inspired by a car accident my family and I were in a couple of 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.
He has since healed me completely and has given me a powerful testimony to share with others.
Wow, that is quite the testimony! What’s your favorite part of “Hailee”?

I love Hailee’s story because it gives such a wonderful example of forgiveness and of second chances. It also reinforces the fact that God is with us always. I also love to infuse humor into my novels, so that, too, would be one of my favorite things about this story.
Here’s a tough questions…which of your three Montana Skies books is your personal favorite?

Wow! That is a great question, Charity! I don’t have a favorite of the three as I like each of them best for different reasons.  *grins*
A wonderful answer. J I would have trouble choosing a favorite too. What is the biggest thing you’d like a reader to take away from “Hailee”?

My passion is to write books that impact lives for Christ. Readers can expect to share in Hailee’s pain and sorrow, as well as the joy she experiences. They will watch as her faith wavers and her heart breaks at the losses she experiences in life. They will share with Nate as he struggles to release to the Lord burdens he was never meant to carry. My books are character-driven, and as such, throughout the book and with a variety of characters, readers will catch a glimpse of struggles with forgiveness, Salvation, rededication to Christ, and the hope of a new life.
If you could live in any time period, which time period would it be? 

I love this question! There are so many awesome things about the 1800s (the time period of my books) and even the turn of the century in the early 1900s. However, I think I would choose to live in the present because of the modern conveniences and all of the advances of modern medicine.  J
What three people, living or dead, would you love to have lunch with? They can be together at the same meal, or separate, according to whether you think they’d get along. J

I would love to have lunch with Jesus, of course. I would also enjoy having lunch with Helen Keller.  My great-grandma, who arrived on a boat from Sweden, would also be a very interesting person with whom I’d love to have lunch.
Yes, that great-grandma sounds like a very interesting person to meet! Is there a random fact about you that most people don’t know?

Hmmm. That’s a great question…I met my husband through a prank phone call I made when we were both teenagers. J I wrote a humorous post about it here:
I’m definitely going to read that post. J What’s a book you recently enjoyed reading?

I recently started a Bible study on the book of Ecclesiastes written by author Stephanie Shott. Stephanie is an amazing author and I am learning so much!
Which of your bookcover is your favorite?

Wow! Another great question! I love all three covers, but I would have to say I might possibly like Hailee just a teeny weeny bit more.  By the way, I love the book trailer for Hailee, which was produced by Tinkertime Productions. It can be found at

You know I loved the cover for “Hailee.” J Thanks so much for coming, Penny! Where can fans find you on the internet?

Thank you so much for having me here, Charity! I love to connect with readers at –
My website:

Back to me. J

Penny has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of Hailee to one lucky winner! Believe me, this is one of those books you want to win. J  You can enter whether or not you follow Austenitis. Mandatory entry: leave a comment telling me you want to be entered.
+3 entries for blogging about this giveaway! Leave a link so I can check it out!
+1 entry for putting the Austenitis button on your blog!
+1 entry for putting up the Birthday Party button.
+2 entries for emailing four friends! This is only for people who don’t have a blog. Make sure you include a link to this post in your email! And remember…I’m trusting you here.
+2 entries if you follow Austenitis!
+1 if you follow Penny Zeller’s blog,

Okay. Just read this, then you can start leaving comments! J You may leave your email address if you like. It’s not required. If you do, I will email you if you win! Also if you do, make sure you leave it like this: charityu.austenite[at]gmail[dot]com so that spammers can’t find you! I will also post the winner here. Please note that this giveaway ends on ­­­November 25, 2011. I’m sorry for my international readers, but this giveaway is USA only.
Now go! J


Penny Zeller said...

Thank you SOOOO much for having me as your guest today, Charity.

I hope you have a wonderful evening and a Happy Thanksgiving!

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

I'd love to enter Charity!

I have your Austenitis button on my blog.

I put your Blog Birthday part on my blog.

I follow Austenitis.

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

I posted about the giveaway here:

His Handmaiden said...

I follow Austinitis=) Book giveaways are the best! Thank you!


His Handmaiden said...

I follow Austinitis=)


Charity U said...

Penny, thanks for coming by!

Everyone else -- you're entered! This book is definitely worth reading.

Angelica said...

Enter me, please! :)

And I'm following your blog

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

I had fun doing the Birthday Party tag. Here is my post:

Penny Zeller said...

Hello Miss Laurie! Thank you for stopping by Charity's blog and commenting for a chance to win a copy of "Hailee." Have a great weekend!

Penny Zeller said...

Hello His Handmaiden~ Thank you for stopping by! I'm excited to see who wins!

Penny Zeller

larkin said...

I would love to enter! I have the Austenitis and birthday party buttons on my blog, and I follow Austenitis. :)


Penny Zeller said...

Hello Angelica~ Thank you for your enthusiasm! Have a wonderful weekend!