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This is the month for debut authors! I’m thrilled to have Dani Pettrey here today, to share a bit about herself and her new novel, Submerged.

People often ask me why I enjoy writing about adventure so much. This question is usually followed by, “Are you as adventurous as your characters?”

The answer to the first question is easy: I write about adventure because I love it! I’m fascinated by people who pursue adventure for sport, and even more intrigued by those who pursue adventure for a living. There are so many wonderful examples out there—Erik Weihenmayer, Bethany Hamilton, and Kelly Clark, just to name a few. These athletes live for adventure and push themselves to overcome obstacles.

While Cole McKenna, the hero of my debut novel Submerged, isn’t modeled after any adventure athlete in particular, he does share many of these same traits. Cole pushes himself to the limits physically and mentally. He’s a professional cave diver—an extremely dangerous career—and he dedicates some of that dive expertise to helping others through Search and Rescue. He’s a Christian and his family’s protector. He’s responsible, a hard worker, but he craves the thrill of adventure. Writing about Cole and his siblings has been so much fun for me.

To answer the second question, I love the outdoors, and there are many adventures I enjoy—kayaking, white-water rafting, indoor rock climbing, hiking—I’m just not quite as adventurous as my characters. I’d never go cave diving or heli-skiing, but I love researching those sports, and experiencing them through my stories.

That’s the beauty of a good story; the ability to live vicariously through characters, to see the world through new eyes, to travel to new places and to take new journeys, all from the comfort of your favorite chair. My author newsletter is called Armchair Adventures for this very reason.

One of my favorite quotes is:

“It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.” -Biblo Baggins in The Fellowship of the Rings

Here’s my own version of that quote:

“It’s adventurous business, opening a book. You turn the pages, and if you aren’t careful, you just might be swept away.”   

In my opinion, there’s nothing better than being swept away by a story. It’s one of my absolute favorite pastimes. I love reading stories that let me experience new adventures, and I hope my stories offer those experiences to readers, as well.

 About Submerged:

 A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers. One single clue.

Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey, Alaska, again. She has a past, and a reputation–and Yancey’s a town that doesn’t forget. She’s returned only to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash, but then dark evidence emerges and Bailey’s own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.

Cole McKenna can face dangerous rescue dives. He can face the fear a murderer may be threatening his town. But facing the reality of Bailey’s reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart… but doesn’t seem to be the same girl who left Yancey ten years ago. And he’s not the same guy she left behind.

Racing against the clock and a rising body count, Bailey and Cole must move beyond the hurts of their pasts to work together until the truth of what is hidden in the depths finally surfaces.

 About Dani:

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 her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters. Visit her website at www.danipettrey.com.