You would never guess that this is Dani Pettrey’s debut book. Straight from the very first page, you get sucked into the tension of the plot as well as the fantastic McKenna family! Their dialogue with each other was so amusing I couldn’t help laughing throughout the book (Piper is so adorable!). The characters are so real with their own individual quirks. This book really inspires and challenges you. It highlights forgiveness, redemption, helping others and how God can change us if we let Him. Can’t wait to read about Piper and Landon in the next one!
If you love a good mystery, suspense that makes you hold your breath as you turn the page, and a beautiful love story then this is the book for you! A warning though, your self-control will be severely tested if you try to put this book down before finishing it!
In the first of her novels about the McKenna clan, Dani Pettrey introduces us to Cole, the oldest of the McKennas, and most of his four siblings. When a plane goes down just before arriving in the town of Yancey, Alaska, Cole is part of the diving team sent to rescue/recover the plane's occupants, including the aunt of his old flame Bailey, the girl who broke his heart ten years ago. When the "accident" drags Bailey back to Yancey, a place she never wanted to see again in her life, her knowledge of Russian studies and her aunt's Russian shop becomes invaluable for police investigation involving murdered divers. In order to solve the mystery, Cole and Bailey have to work together with the police, but will they be able to reconcile the past before the dangerous present catches up with them?
I tend to prefer historical novels, though a good thriller has its place. What surprised me about Submerged is that though it is a contemporary suspense story, it has a strong thread of Alaskan and Russian history, making for a fascinating read. While much of it is hypothetical "what could have happened," it is based on well known (and perhaps some lesser known) Russian history and its ties with Alaska. I thought it a brilliant component to the story.
Poor choices that Bailey made in her youth continue to haunt her. Though she turned to Jesus and completely turned her life around, she still fights with guilt, a lack of self worth, and a damaging old reputation. Pettrey does a good job reiterating that, yes, there might be long-lasting consequences to one's behavior before turning to Christ, but when Jesus wipes one's sins away, one is a new creation in Christ. By God's standards - the only standards that matter - one is new and clean. It is still hard for Bailey to wrap her head around that truth, but the healing God provides goes a long way!
Pettrey does a great job establishing family dynamics and hinting at where things might lead beyond this particular novel. It is clear each of the siblings has their own personality and role in the family, and it will be fun to see where the series goes. Piper, the youngest McKenna, and family friend deputy Landon Granger are secondary main characters with their own viewpoints (though to a lesser extent than Cole and Bailey), setting up the next book to come.
Mystery and suspense, history and hidden treasure, romance, healing, the great outdoors - this book has something for everyone! 5 out of 5 stars!
The last thing Bailey Craig wanted to do was to return to Yancey Alaska. In fact for the last few years she has tried her best to forget that town and its people ever existed. But when Bailey’s Aunt Agnes dies in a tragic plan accident she finds that God has other plans for her. Like teaching her that sometimes things aren’t always the way we remember them, such as Cole McKenna and the events that made her leave Yancey in the first place.
Cole McKenna, head of the McKenna clan, spends his days’ working in his families dive shop and helping the local police department recover sunken wreckage. When he and his team are called to help with a rescue of a small plane that has crashed into the ocean, he recognizes that one of the victims is Bailey’s beloved Aunt Agnes. He realizes that Bailey will be coming back for the funeral and that means that he will have to guard his heart very closely.
I loved this book. For a debut novel, this one is off the charts. The author weaves a brilliant story of suspense, mystery and romance. Her characters are well developed and unforgettable. The love and closeness the McKenna family share reminds me of Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series, which is one of my favorites.
The research that the author did on Alaska, the Russian history of the state, scuba diving and all that it entails, is truly impressive. The writing details in the diving scenes were so well done I could actually imagine being there watching the scenes unfold.
If you are a fan of Irene Hannon or Terri Blackstock or if you just want to try something new, you will definitely enjoy this book. I will be frequently recommending this book.
Dani Pettrey has a series in play that’s every bit as exciting as watching the Red Sox win the World Series. You will want to add Dani’s three, soon to be four, books to your must read list – all are 5-star material.
Submerged marks Bailey Craig’s return to Alaska – a place she fled from years before – to bury a beloved aunt who’d been killed in a plane crash. But all is not as it seems and soon Bailey and former love of her live, Cole McKenna, are embroiled in a mystery investigation as the body count rises. Will they solve the mystery or will they, and it, remain submerged?
A Thriller - Romance, Suspense, Good plot & charac
Date:January 25, 2014
A sabotaged flight. Two murdered divers. A single clue—a grainy image of sunken treasure.
Dive Rescue Captain Cole McKenna has never worked a case like this, but who he’s working with may prove more dangerous than the assignment. It’s been a lifetime since Bailey mangled his heart. Now she’s back in town and he needs her expertise to track down the illusive treasure.
Professor of Russian Studies Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey again, but when her beloved aunt dies, she has no choice. Her plan of attack is simple: return for Agnes’s funeral, get the family business ready for a quick sale, and then put Yancey and all the heartbreaking memories wrapped up in it behind her for good.
Cole walking through her door, asking for her help on a murder investigation, wasn’t part of her plan, neither are the feelings he’s resurrecting—feelings best left dead.
Bailey agrees to help for the sake of the victims, and travels with Cole across Alaska’s rugged terrain and deep beneath its coastal waters. As the case escalates, so do their feelings for one another. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to let go of the past and just when Bailey thinks she can’t take it any longer, the case shifts in a new and extremely personal direction, fastening her in for its duration.
Racing against the clock and a rising body count, Cole and Bailey fight to find the treasure and uncover the hidden history at the root of it all. But will they be too late? Carol R. Gehringer Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
I actually found this book while on my town library's website. I was totally captivated by the cover and ordered it immediately! This book did not disappoint. Great story, great characters, twists and turns that you don't see coming. I have now read all 3 in the series. Great author. Enjoy it!
This is, rather obviously, my first time reading one of Dani Pettrey's books. I had read quite a few reviews and blog posts about the Alaskan Courage series so there was quite a build-up for reading it. So, I was pretty excited to receive a copy in the mail. It didn't take long to find out what everyone was 'talking' about, just a glance at the cover pulls you in and the author takes it from there, on a wild Alaskan adventure.
Bailey is a very likable heroine. She has every reason to feel very confident, she is intelligent, well educated, successful, and isn't the plainest of Janes. But she doesn't feel very confident at all, nope, going back to her hometown in Alaska just brings back her rocky past and the painful moniker she has tried to flee. She's a Christian now, changed a lot, but will she stay long enough to prove it? Cole is a pretty cool guy. The oldest son, he let go of some of his dreams to come home and take care of his younger siblings. He is responsible, gentle, kind, and everything that Bailey finds hard to resist. His faith is a major part of his life, it wasn't always so, but he leans on it heavily now. With his siblings, Cole runs a shop that rents diving equipment as well as tours, and is also involved in rescue/recovery dives. Will he fall for Bailey again? And if so, will she just break his heart for a second time?
I loved the suspense thread in Submerged, the melding of modern diving and history. The mystery and romance are nicely balanced. The little bit of Russian and Russian-Alaskan history that are woven through the story were simply fascinating. I know there was some literary license but still... The story kept me reading long after I should have gone to bed, and when I finally had to sleep, I picked it up first thing in the morning so I could find out what was happening next.
I did wonder a little bit at the characters wearing shorts, sundresses, and flip-flops so often but I since I have never been to Alaska I won't question it too much.
Engaging characters, AMAZING scenery, danger, and romance make Submerged a great read!
(I won this book in a giveaway and am in no way obligated to review it. I have chosen to do so and all opinions are my own)
Bailey Craig moved to Oregon 10 years ago to get away from her past in Tariuk Island, in Yancey Alaska and plans never to return there. During those 10 years she has changed a lot about the way she lives and is now a devoted Christian. But she gets a call from a friend, Gus Holbrook in Yancey informing her of her beloved Aunt Agnes Grey’s death in a plane crash. Gus wants to know how soon she can arrive for her aunt’s funeral and go over details of her aunts business, The Russian-American Trading Post and living space above, hers now. As Bailey goes through Agnes’s things, both business and personal, something doesn’t seem right. As she digs deeper, she has a strong feeling that Aunt Agnes’s plane crash was not accidental.
Long time friend, Cole McKenna, remains on the island and continues to work at his family owned business, Last Frontier Adventure. He too has changed over the years and now follows Christ. He has never forgotten Bailey and likely never will. A certified search and rescue diver, he and his crew go into the water to rescue survivors from the plane crash only to find that the three passengers have died. Agnes Grey is one of the passengers of the small plane. Along with Deputy Landon Grainger, Cole seeks answers to causes of the plane crash and soon discovers evidence that the plane crash was not accidental. There are two more bizarre deaths on the island and they now suspect that the two other deaths are somehow related to Agnes’s death/murder as well.
Cole and Bailey end up working together to find out why those on the plane with Agnes and the two other deaths on the island were murdered and if there is a connection. Tensions are high as they try to overcome their past feelings, anger and find their feelings are just as strong.
I was captured from the first page and had a hard time putting it down until I finished it. I love Bailey, Cole and the rest of the characters in the book. They all have struggles much like we do in our own lives making them so real. I found myself getting so involved in their lives throughout the book. Dani paints such a clear picture of Alaska’s beauty and its history I felt I was right there. This is a great book full of mystery, suspense, romance, history, family dynamics, Christian values, forgiveness and more.
Submerged is a book I enjoyed for it's connection to Alaska; reading the quirks of Alaskan life in a novel form was fun. Reading about the diving lifestyle in Alaskan waters was interesting as well.
There is also a story of heartbreak, forgiveness & reconciliation throughout the story. Just a heads up, I found this book to be a more intense than I expected - might have been due to the underwater elements.
Sophie returns to Hickory Ridge determined to make her mark as a journalist. Ethan is a talented architect and is in charge for building the Blue Smoke Resort. But when Sophie's editorial puts his job in danger unexpected events unfold. Will Sophie and Ethan find where their hearts belong?
Even though it is the third in a series, Every Perfect Gift stands well on it's own. I loved how the characters where compelling and complex, struggling to reconcile their pasts and forgive.
I loved how their were unexpected twists to the story. The characters where truly engaging and I really came to care for them, which kept me reading because I wanted to know what would happen next.
Overall, a well paced story that engages and entertains, with characters that made me love them. A lovely book, that I wouldn't be shy to recommend.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
After reading and enjoying “Shattered” for the blog tour, I decided I needed to read the first book in the series. I finally convinced the library to get it…and can we say – New Favorite Book! Wow, it was so good. The first half? Yup, awesome. The second half? Beyond belief amazing. Now, a few things that stood out to me…the cover. Pretty cool. If you look close, you’ll note that the model had on mascara, which is now smearing in streaks down her face. Which I think is super cool because as any girl who’s ever gotten wet with un-water-proof-mascara on knows…that’s exactly what it does. Makes this cover real to me! Once again, I loved the Alaska setting. It’s an amazing place, and I love it up there – reading books set there is a delight! Cole and Bailey too were such a delight to read about. I loved them both! And yes, I’m overusing the word love/d. ;) The suspense was super suspenseful, and the adventures and excitement were simply stunning. I also really loved getting to know Piper a bit in this book! I feel like I need to read “Shattered” again and see them all again now that I know them better! There were some very unique and fascinating settings – and concepts for the story as well. I was riveted the whole way through. I’m considering buying this one (despite the fact that the library now has it), but even if I decide not to buy it myself, I’ll be requesting it for my birthday or Christmas. It was THAT good!
I read the second book, Shattered, before this one and I although I still enjoyed it I would recommend starting with Submerged first. There was a lot of history with the characters that I had previously missed out on. This is Dani's first book, I believe, and what a start to her career! She is right up there in my opinion with well known suspense authors such as Irene Hannon and Lynette Eason. And she's extra cool because she's a fellow homeschooling mom.
I was immediately sucked into the story and didn't want to come up for air until I was done, but of course I had to a couple of times. I loved that it was set in Alaska, and that the McKenna's owned a dive shop - not something you would expect in Alaska! They use dry suits but even so that water must be awfully cold.
I saw today that the next book in the series, Stranded, is coming out this fall and I can't wait to read it. I like it when a series follows different people each book, but the characters are somehow known or related in some way to the ones you've already read about in previous books. This series follows the McKenna siblings.
This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I'm not sure why I put off reading this book for so long. I suppose I just didn't make the time for it. Shame on me, because it was simply fantastic! It's nearly impossible to believe that this is Dani Pettrey's debut novel. The plot was so tight and the suspense was incredibly well-written! I was intrigued from the very beginning and enjoyed the roller coaster to the end.
I love, love, LOVED Bailey and Cole and thoroughly enjoyed watching their relationship develop. Plus, Cole's family (clan may be more appropriate) was a lot of fun too. I look forward to getting to know them in future books. My only complaint was that things wrapped up a little quickly at the end. Minor complaint, though!
I wholeheartedly recommend Submerged and can't wait to see where Dani takes readers from here! [4.5 stars]
I was not asked to review this book. I offer my review freely. All opinions expressed are my own.
This book is amazing! I was scared, sad, excited, in suspense...everything a book should have within its pages. There was just enough romance for my taste; it's not dripping with it, but it was sprinkled throughout to make me go, "Aww!" at times, and not, "Blech!."
Ms. Pettrey delivered with this! I love it when books show sibling love and rivalry, and she did this with ease.
I usually have a hard time reading books that contain an insanely evil villain, but SUBMERGED has one that is just that; insane. And it made sense. I don't know how, but she made this guy completely believable. My hat's off to you, Dani.
Something else that impressed me was the author's ability to create a complex protagonist. Bailey Craig made some really bad choices in her school years, and even though she is a new creation in Christ, the image of her old self haunts her. It's not easy for her to forget, especially when she has to face her past head-on when she returns to her hometown of Yancey, Alaska, where her scorned first love still lives. Not to mention, the whole town knows of her escapades, and a few of its residents still taunt and harass her relentlessly.
I'd recommend this book because it's filled with hope and new beginnings. Anyone who has made mistakes in their past--and who hasn't?--will find hope when they read SUBMERGED. I can't wait until book #2 in the Alaskan Courage Series!