Monday, December 20, 2010

Penny Zeller's "McKenzie"

We're happy to have Penny Zeller with us today talking about her book, McKenzie. To learn more about Penny and her book, read on!

Title: McKenzie.
Publisher: Whitaker House

Cover 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?

1) How did this story come to you?
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.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
After I wrote the book and after much prayer, I sent the proposal to Whitaker House. They responded and asked to see the entire manuscript. McKenzie was accepted and released in September 2010. It is the first in my Montana Skies Historical Romance series.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Hmmm, let’s see – three things. Well, first, right out of a romance novel, I met my husband of 18 years through a prank phone call while we were in high school (he was a football player from a school 20 minutes from mine and I was a cheerleader). The rest, as they say, is history. Secondly, and quite humorous, I might add, I had two imaginary friends as a young child. They were two gray-haired grandpas (the ones from Sesame Street). I imagined they lived at the end of my street. And finally, some may find it interesting that I never do outlines for my novels. I dream up the entire book in my head as if I were watching a movie then write it down scene by scene. My husband and kids always tease me and ask if I’ve “watched” any movies lately *grins.*

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Book two of my Montana Skies Historical Romance Series is scheduled for release in April 2011. The book is titled Kaydie and is a touching story of God’s provision. (The full description of Kaydie can be seen at
I am currently working on Book Three in my Montana Skies Series, which will take fans of the series into the lives of more Pine Haven characters and a glimpse at the main character’s chance for love in an unexpected place. In addition, I just completed the first book in a new historical romance series that takes place in the Civil War era.

5) Parting comments?
I would like to say a special thank you to Dawn for having me here. I’d also like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. May the Lord bless you with His love and faithfulness in 2011 and beyond.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I love to connect with my readers at my website,, on Twitter at, and on Facebook at


  1. sounds great!
    rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

  2. exciting

  3. Nice cover! I'd love to check this book out.


  4. Oh I love historical romances and this sounds really good, would love to win a copy ! It is fascinating g how you came to write your books .

  5. It's amazing how God can put us in a most uncomfortable situation in order to do a work that otherwise would be impossible! I love that about HIM!!!

    I just can't imagine the bravery it took for women to become mail order brides. I really look forward to reading your take on this subject.

    Merry Christmas to you too!

  6. I would love to win this! Thanks!

    Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

  7. Love the cover of your book and enjoyed reading your interview and reading how you just write without any outline like you are watching a movie. Fascinating!

    I would love to win a copy of this book.


  8. This is a book I really want to read....!


  9. I have no clue how you can write a book without making an outline!!!


  10. Good Afternoon MJ, Michelle, Aimymichelle, Flossysmom, Brandi, Molly, Jo, and Maureen!

    Thank you for blessing me with your sweet comments about my book :) You all made my day.

    I am always excited to see who wins a copy...

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

    Hugs & Blessings,

  11. I am interested in reading this book.

  12. Would love to read the book, please enter me!

    dancealert at aol dot com

  13. Hi Katy and Wendy!
    Katy - your post made me laugh :) For some reason, I've just never really been an outline person unless I'm writing on a topic for a speaking engagement. I know, funny but true!

    Wendy - thank you so much for your kind words.

    May you both have a blessed week in the Lord!

  14. Thanks, Brenda, for stoppying by and for your enthusiasm! Have a Merry Christmas!


  15. I look forward to this book. -Rebecca Batty,

  16. Penny,
    I just love your testimony that God had plans for you to write during a very trying time in your life!
    I love that you said that God took what was a difficult time for you and turned it around to something positive that can be used for His Kingdom!
    I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE stories about mail order brides. It is unfathomable how marriages worked at all under the circumstances, yet with God in the midst, it is NOT unfathomable because HE knows best and directs lives if we just ask!!!

    Many Blessings and Smiles,
    Charlotte chakasa58 at gmail dot com

  17. I LOVE the verse you shared from Jeremiah. That is a verse that I often replay in my mind as a deal with a permanent disability that stemmed from an accident in 2007. I suffer from pain and immobility 24/7. I am still trying to discover what God has planned for me. I am so sorry you had to go through such a rough time but so happy for you that you were able to use that time to create something that "something positive that can be used for His Kingdom" I would love to win this book and I thank you for the chance. I am an e-mail subscriber.

    BTW- The woman (McKenzie) on the cover looks so much like Katherine Heigl from Grey's Anatomy. I guess you probably hear that a lot! :)

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  18. please count me in...thanks :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  19. Good Morning Nancye, Karen, Charlotte Kay, and Rebecca!

    I want to thank you all for stopping by Dawn's blog and leaving a comment.

    Karen and Rebecca - it is so nice to meet you via your sweet comments.

    Charlotte Kay - I enjoyed reading your comment - you are so right about God directing our lives and knowing best. It so reminds me of the verse in Romans 8:28.

    Nancye - I was sorry to hear about the accident that left you with a permanent disability. I am adding you to my prayer list for healing, help with the pain, and that God would show you what He has planned for you (and He does have plans for you!) On a lighter note, I have heard several times about McKenzie looking like Katherine Heigl :) When I first received the email with the cover from my publisher, I was ecstatic! I draw really good smiley faces, but that's about it, LOL. Artists are amazing!

    May all of you have a blessed, safe, and healthy New Year.

    Hugs & Blessings,