Monday, May 14, 2012

Novel Hat-trick

I’m not sure you’re supposed to feel “proud” of folks your own age. I’m not even sure proud is a PC word for a Christian to use, but you know what? That’s exactly what I feel—I’m proud of Katie Ganshert, Beth Vogt, and Dani Pettrey. Each one of these dear friends accomplished a respectable feat. Wildflowers from Winter, Wish You Were Here, and Submerged (their books respectively) have all released. They’re out there for you to read. So I say get to it.

I’m an expressive soccer coach and I feel similar overjoyed feelings stir inside me as I witness these books take off. I’m extremely proud of my friends!
Now a little more about my reading experience, the authors, and how they responded when I asked each of them about their proudest moments…
Katie Ganshert is a Midwest gal who’s passionate about Jesus, family, writing, and all things romance. When she’s not plotting ways to get her hero and heroine to cross paths, she enjoys watching movies with her husband, playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, hanging out with the crazy but lovable junior high students at church, and chatting with her girlfriends.

Katie’s proudest moment: So hard! It's a tie between....
-Seeing our son for the first time
-Crossing the finish line for a marathon
-Holding my book for the first time
All three were the end result of a whole lot of really hard work!” 

Wildflowers from Winter
In her debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, Katie Ganshert weaves a highly engaging story wrought with a skillful balance of tension, healing, and forgiveness. I immediately softened to Bethany Quinn and empathized with her restless spirit. On every page I found myself entwined in the lives of the characters Ganshert so realistically portrays. I understood why Bethany would feel hesitant to return to Peaks, Iowa, hesitant to delve back into her past and face the perceived demons that awaited her there. With an intentional deftness, Ganshert has crafted a literary work that is sure to both entertain and stir the soul.

Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Beth has discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” She writes contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us.

Beth’s proudest moment: “My proudest moment is repeated every time I am surrounded by my family: my husband and my children (now extending into their spouses): It's not a proud "Look what I did" moment. But more of a humble "Wow, look what God has accomplished in spite of me and through me and because I said 'I do'" to my husband so many years ago. To have good relationships -- fun relationships -- with my children -- I've worked hard at that. Prayed for that. And it's priceless.”
Wish You Were Here

Because of the out-of-the-gate-running, tension-filled start, I was instantly hooked while reading Beth Vogt’s debut novel, Wish You Were Here. Vogt masterfully blends humor with deeper, heartfelt issues, as well as intersperses comedic timing with a precision I’ve yet to come across. Allison Denman is faced with one of the greatest life-altering choices. Throughout the novel, I consistently rooted for the “postcard relationship” to cement, but before rushing to any conclusions, Allison needed to find an unencumbered route to happiness. I love how Vogt addresses faith in this novel with the skill of sewing a patchwork quilt, adding it at integral moments, and using it to empower Allison toward wisdom. If you’re in the mood for humor mixed with genuine depth, this book won’t disappoint.
Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom and author. 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 one’s faith and plenty of romance. She’s a huge fan of dark chocolate, is always in search of the best iced mocha and her dream is one day to own a little cottage on a remote stretch of beach. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.
Dani’s proudest moment: “I think my proudest moment (not sure why I should be proud--it was all God) was at the births of my daughters. I just felt so blessed to be a mom and to have given birth to two beautiful baby girls--again, all God.”

I immediately gravitated toward the unique setting of Yancey Alaska, and devoured the suspense-filled elements of Dani Pettrey’s debut novel, Submerged. Pettrey’s command of characters and ability to inspire readers to express repeated sharp audible gasps speaks to her advanced writing skills. With carefully constructed twists and turns, Pettrey navigates Bailey Craig and Cole McKenna through a well-plotted mystery. Because Pettrey succeeds in creating such relatable and layered characters, I was deeply engaged in Bailey’s plight, not to mention that more than once I viscerally feared for her safety. Submerged—a page-turner!

Such stellar authors, such beautiful friends, such gifts from God. Novel Hat-trick!

What is your proudest moment?

*Congratulations, Johanna Garth, you won Katie Ganshert’s book, Wildflowers from Winter. Please contact me with your mailing info. so Katie’s team can get it to you.
**I received complimentary copies of these books


  1. I don't know if I can pick out one proudest moment. My kids constantly give me those! I've read 2 outa 3 of these books and I'm looking forward to reading Dani's book! I love mystery and suspense!

  2. Thanks for these overviews, Wendy. They all look great!

  3. Thanks for the snippets of info- they're interesting!

    Can't pick my proudest moment, but they all seem to involve loved ones.

  4. Proudest moment...umm...yesterday I spilled three separate beverages. That was a record even for me.

    But seriously, I'm so proud of my amazing miracle of a nephew Ollie...he has survived so much in his short life so far...he's such a little trooper and the happiest little boy you can imagine. I love him to death!

    I've read both Katie's and Beth's books...loved them. Can't wait to read Dani's!

  5. This is cool! So happy for these ladies, and I'm proud of them, too. Way to go!

  6. My bright and talented hubby and daughter have given me many proud moments. When I think of my own proud moments, three come to mind. The first was completing my college degree. I put myself through school, and it took me eleven l-o-n-g years. The second was moving to Germany with Gwynly and choosing to embrace the experience despite my fears. The third moment has yet to happen, but I have a hunch I'm gonna experience a surge of pride, awe, and disbelief when I hold my debut novel for the first time in just a few weeks.

    1. We'll all be cheering for you, Keli! It's not far away now. You must be brimming over with excitement :)

  7. I love this - a novel hat trick! Thanks so much for the info on each wonderful lady and book. :)

    Happy Monday!


  8. I've read all of these books, and they're all great!!

    I suppose my proudest moments have been marrying my husband, earning my M.A. in English, and completing that first draft of my first novel. :D

  9. Wendy - What a great day, to have three quality novels release in the CBA market! Thanks for supporting our author friends.

  10. Wendy, I think it's fine to be proud of our peers. My beautiful, loving, strong friends make me proud every day. And squee over winning. My email addy is

  11. My proudest moment comes every time my hubby compliments me for something simple. Or when our son calls from his home 600 miles away and asks how we are. Yes, I love the simple things in life.

  12. Thanks for introducing us to these beautiful writers, Wendy! You're so good at uplifting others. I think my proudest moments have been giving birth to my two sons and completing my first novel.

  13. Thanks so very much, Wendy. I feel so honored and humbled to be featured by you. You are such an amazing lady! Can't wait until we're all celebrating your debut :)

  14. I'm so proud of all of my kids. I just keep getting hit with proud kid moments...just one after another.

    Congrats to Katie, Beth, and Dani! You guys are awesome!

  15. Looking forward to reading Dani's and Katie's books. Beth's was amazing, and I'm expecting the other two to be as well.

    Proudest moment...every time my boys follow God's leading.

  16. Thanks for highlighting these new releases, Wendy. They all appeal to me.

  17. It has been exciting following these book releases!

    It goes without saying that my proudest moments have been standing besides my best friend, David, at the altar and birthing our four amazing children (the youngest being a set of twin boys!), but I'm even prouder when people let me know how highly they think of my husband and children - it makes me feel so humbled and blessed to be a part of their lives.

  18. Love this novel hat trick! What a great way to spotlight these authors. :)

  19. So excited for these ladies. WOOHOO!!!!


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