September 15, 2013

Gage McKenna

Long-time blog followers will recognize the last name and let me assure you hero-girls, Stranded will not leave you wanting. Not only does author Dani Pettrey deliver us another FHF-worthy hero yet again with Gage McKenna, but we get to catch up with Cole and Landon too.

About Stranded Alaskan Courage Series #3 (released Sep. 1, 2013):

When her friend goes missing, every minute counts.

Darcy St.James returns to Alaska to join a journalist friend on the trail of a big story. But when Darcy arrives, she finds her friend has disappeared. Troubled by the cruise ship's vague explanation, Darcy uses her cover as a travel reporter to investigate further.

The last person Gage McKenna expects to see during his summer aboard a cruise ship leading adventure excursions is Darcy. And in typical Darcy fashion, she's digging up more trouble.

He'd love to just forget her--but something won't let him. And he can't help but worry about her as they are heading into more remote regions of Alaska and eventually into foreign waters. Something sinister is going on, and the deeper they push, the more Gage fears they've only discovered the tip of the iceberg.


Excerpt from Stranded:

<Note: A paragraph was omitted from the original passage to preserve a plot twist. As always, I want to give you the flavor of the hero and a good look at him, while staying spoiler free.>

          "You can use that copse of evergreen trees for privacy," Jake said, pointing to the small grouping. It wasn't large, only a handful of trees and shrubbery, but it would do.
          Gingerly, she got to her feet but could only wobble where she stood. Her body ached as if she'd been wrung through, but it was her soul that had taken the hardest blow.
          Gage peeled off his windbreaker and pulled his sopping shirt over his head, exposing his chest.
          Darcy's breath caught, her gaze drawn to the two precious baby feet tattooed above his heart.
          Tucker. Her heart squeezed, tears stinging her eyes.
          "You okay, Darcy?" Landon asked.
          Gage's gaze flashed to hers before she could look away. He glanced down at the tattoo--resigned anguish on his handsome face--then back at her. A brief moment of unguarded emotion passed between them, and then it was gone.
          She yearned to say something, to do something--to run and wrap her arms around him and not let go. But he'd want to be left alone. He always did. No doubt he'd make a joke or offer a playful smile within seconds.
          He yanked on a dry shirt and cocked his head in a teasing manner. "You may want to scoot before I swap my pants." He winked, but it did nothing to diffuse the tightness in her belly or the growing depth of her feelings for him. She was coming to love the man, busted heart and all.
          "Darc, I'm hardly shy," he said, reaching for his zipper.
          "Right." She turned heel and darted into the shelter of the trees, her mind filled with the image of his bare chest. Forget the defined muscles. It was the tattoo--Tucker's tattoo--that had melted her heart.
          Despite the wet earth, and the chill permeating her very being, she dropped to her knees and prayed for the man she'd come to care for so deeply.

Excerpt used with permission. All rights reserved.

Gallant Score

I discovered something recently about myself as a reader. The self-sacrificing gesture gets me every time. Every. Single. Time. So when Gage takes off his fleece jacket, smelling of sandalwood and the sea, and gives it to Darcy to put on even though he's aggravated that she has lied to him and put the entire group he is responsible for in danger, that was the moment he earned his appearance on FHF. Dani writes in such I way I was there, breathing the cold air, fearing the upcoming events, but touched to my soul when Gage rolled the sleeves up so her hands were free and then adjusted her life-jacket. That sense of honor that all McKenna men possess wouldn't let him be a jerk when I think he had more than enough reason to be. That's one example of several that will have you seeing orange as you read.

Wounded Score

Readers of Shattered already knew about the tiny blue footprints tattooed over Gage's heart. How many of you were sniffing back emotion through that scene at the end of Shattered with Gage at Tucker's grave? And don't even get me started on the ice-queen baby momma Meredith. Ugh. But author Dani Pettrey does something unique, fascinating and refreshing with Gage in "his" book Stranded. While Gage is as wrecked and closed off emotionally as people come, he's not a brooder. Not at all. He's not angsty or bitter. Well, except at God privately. His actions and behavior however are not dominated by his wounded and hurting heart, but by his need to protect and live honorably.

Softie Score

You just have to know this is there and that you're rarely going to see it, like the tattoo on his chest. Part of that is Gage's stonewall to keep Darcy out of his heart and part of that is working to solve a mysterious disappearance and keep more innocent people from getting hurt. But when the softer side of Gage makes an appearance, Darcy St.James isn't the only one getting weak in the knees. That's for sure.

Stupid Strikes

No. He's a McKenna. No other explanation required.

Swoon Score

He's a McKenna. Duh. I really don't need to write anything else but before I get accused of shirking my blogging responsibilities, I'll explain a little. Giving up his jacket. A healthy but determined refusal to ever forget the too-short life of his son. A DNA-level drive to do the right thing. Rugged Alaskan hero with the athletic body to match. And if the author stays true to form, an actual picture of him and other book fun can be found here on her website.

Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the bestselling author of the acclaimed novels Submerged and Shattered. 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 the D.C. metro area with their two teenage daughters. Learn more at

The FHF Exclusive Directly from the Author

Gage McKenna is very musical, playing both the piano and trumpet with great proficiency. He also dabbles in song writing. Here’s a song he wrote for Darcy while aboard the Bering cruise ship during their STRANDED adventure.

When I saw you wearing three inch heels on snow and ice, I thought the lady’s crazy, but now I’m the one who’s crazy—crazy over you.

You set my ire on fire with that quick tongue of yours and I thought the lady’s mad, but now I’m the one who’s mad—mad about you.

Seeing you dive into a case with such gusto, I feared you were falling, but I’m the one who’s falling—falling like a landside in love with you.

You walked in and turned my world upside down, but now it’s right side up for the first time all because…

Cause I’m crazy over you, yeah…
I’m mad about you.
I’ve fallen like a landside in love with you.
I need you in my life.
How, I need you, girl.
Oh, I need you, girl.

First time I heard you laugh something inside me flipped; every little smile just does the trick because…

I’m crazy over you, yeah…
I’m mad about you.
I’ve fallen like a landslide in love with you.
I need you in my life.
How, I need you, girl.
Oh, I need you, girl.

Need you more than the sun and the rain, need you more than day and night, need you like I need breath in my lungs. Oh how I need you, girl. Yeah, need you, girl.

Now you’re mine and I just can’t get enough. Every laugh, every smile just sucks me up because

I’ve got you, girl, deep under my skin.
I’ve got you girl with this simple diamond ring,
And I hope you’ll forever be mine because I need you, girl.
Oh how I need you, girl. Please forever be mine because I need you, girl.

The giveaways

A copy of Stranded, print or e-book, winners choice, to a randomly drawn commenter. Tell me you want in the book drawing and leave me your email in a way I can find you that fights spam like
gage (at) lastfrontieradventures dot com

If you've already gotten your hands on this novel and already devoured it, PROPS TO YOU. Let's do a drawing for the $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card but you have to leave me the name of a character from Stranded. And much like Gage, I'm not a very trusting person by nature, so NO McKennas or the Yancy crew count! (STOP AND READ IT AGAIN.) Piper, Kayden, Bailey, Cole, Landon, Jake, Reef, you don't get to use those. Sorry, LOL, but there are plenty of people off the cruise ship for you to choose from so hop to it if you want to get in the drawing for the giftcard. Same rules, once that character is used, you need another.

AND if someone knows Gage's middle-name and posts it in the comments below first, that's good for an instant win of a $10 Amazon gift-card. HINT: It's actually not revealed in Stranded. It's in one of the earlier Alaskan Courage series novels.

Dani's amazing sweepstakes is ending soon (on the 19th) so here's a link to check that out and get entered if you aren't already!

Enter the ALASKAN ADVENTURES Sweepstakes from Author Dani Pettrey


Abbi Hart said...

Gage is an amazing hero! I devoured this book-it was so good! Dani definitely knows how to write heroes!

The character I'm naming is Clint Walker and Gage's middle name is Horatio!

Nancy Kimball said...

Wow Abbi, you smashed that, didn't you? haha. Love it. I'll get you your gift card today. Amazon or B&N?

Amy C said...

The character I'm naming is Kyle Trent.
Thanks for the giveaway!
campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Abbi Hart said...

:) Thanks! Amazon please!

Heidi said...

Please enter me in the book giveaway! I'm so excited to read this series- it sounds amazing! Thanks!


Melanie Backus said...

This book sounds wonderful and I would love to be entered in the giveaway. Thank you so much.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Jennie W said...

This is another awesome book! I wanted more time with the past characters - hopefully with some weddings coming up we'll get that soon! I figure Kayden and Jake are next and I can't wait!

Gage's middle name is Horatio. Want the others? I can make a list. :) Huckleberry, Lucy, Sherlock and Beatrice. I was just rereading Shattered since I finished Stranded. (I have to reread the rest of the series after each new one...).

Hmm...a character from this book - Ted Norris. I won't say more on him as that could be a spoiler!

For the drawing:

Britney Adams said...

I love this series and Gage is definitely a worthy hero! I love the song he wrote for Darcy! Thank you for sharing that exclusive!!

The character I am naming is Jeremy Harnett. Thank you so much for this giveaway!

texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

Barbara Thompson said...

Please enter me in the giveaway for a print copy of Stranded. I've read great reviews about this book. Looking forward to reading this book Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the giveaway.
Barbara Thompson


Amanda Dykes said...

Nancy, what a post! So fun to read. Thank you for all you've done to help support Dani's work and STRANDED! No need to enter me in your drawing; I just wanted to say hello. :) ~Amanda

Ganise C. said...

I actually just SQUEALED as I read the lyrics Gage wrote. Sounds like music to a hopeless romantic's ears! (No pun intended.)

Just in case, Dani drops by : So hope you got the tweet, Dani! ''Stranded'' arrived safely. Thank you! I'm happy to say that it's next on my pile.

Nancy Kimball said...

Done. Check your inbox and GREAT JOB!!!

Nancy Kimball said...

You're welcome! =) Thanks for being part of FHF. You guys are what makes this so fun.

Nancy Kimball said...

You got it, Heidi. =) And yes, yes it is. =)

Nancy Kimball said...

Melanie, it is trademark Dani Pettrey. So good. You got it and great to see you back. =)

Nancy Kimball said...

Jennie W, I know, right? I can report that Cole and Bailey's wedding is in the next book. Super thrilled!!! Yep, I'm also hoping Jake and Kayden are next and we get Reef in the 5th book.

Great job on the middle name but Abbi Hart beat you to it! So sorry!

We'll get you in the other gift card drawing with Ted Norris and thanks for keeping spoiler free. ;-)

Nancy Kimball said...

Dani wrote that JUST FOR US and I loved it when I first saw it. =D
We'll get you in the gift card drawing and I love this series too. A lot.

Nancy Kimball said...

Hey Barbara, I've missed you! So good to "see" you back. We'll get you in the book drawing.

Nancy Kimball said...

Thanks, Amanda. It's been my pleasure and I'm proud to have been a part of the journey. Here's to man more! Thanks for stopping by. =)

Nancy Kimball said...

haha, that's awesome =D
Ganise, you're gonna love it. So so good and actually of all three of the Alaskan Courage series so far, I found it had the biggest twist as in (so didn't see that coming) and that's saying something because I am a VERY astute reader and STRANDED really surprised me too.
Great to see you, as always. =)

Nancy Kimball said...


Abbi Hart threw down bright and early on post day to snatch that $10 gift card for Gage's middle name. It's "Horatio" but I STRONGLY suggest no one use it. He'll say "don't go there."

$10 Reader gift card:

So far we have used up


We've got lots of characters left in there, the cruise director for one, and other passengers on the ocean kayak excursion, etc. Keep it up, guys! I'm loving the support for this novel and for Gage. =)

Ganise C. said...

Great to see you too, Nancy! Thank you!

And.. the best in the series, so far? Very surprising too? Oh boy. Now, I can't wait!!

Angi said...

Wow! I'm gonna have to check into this series. It sounds really good! Gage sounds like a fun guy, too (love his name). Please enter me in the drawing for a print copy. Thanks!


Jennie W said...

That's what I'm hoping as well - I definitely want (at least) two more books and I heard that the Book 4 is called "Silenced" on FB. Looking forward to it!

I'm an AK girl and often don't like books set there (too picky is probably the reality), but can't say that on this series!

I knew I'd lost on the middle name, but felt like sharing anyway. :)

Abbi Hart said...

Thank you! Got it!

Dani Pettrey said...

Thanks so much for featuring Gage! Still in Indy, but had to check in and tell you what a phenomenal job you did. Thank you, friend! Blessings, Dani

4readin said...

I loved the first book. I haven't read the others...yet. I am excited to read them! They have such good character depth and plot line. The storyline is wonderful and unique. The love story in "Submerged" was sweet and lovely. Not cliché like many other books. Thanks for the review and giveaway!

ks4readin (at) yahoo (dot) com

Nancy Kimball said...

Haha. Awesome! =) We're good with picky. I am VERY. VERY. PICKY. when it comes to my fiction and even more so when it comes to my heroes!

Nancy Kimball said...

LOL at my typo. Love that I dropped the Y from many. Freudian slip no doubt. :-p

Nancy Kimball said...

Good. Get this read and then tell me if you EVER want to go on a cruise ever, ever again, hehe. I'm pretty sure I don't. Unless there's a McKenna on board.

Nancy Kimball said...

Angi! It is good, and I don't really like romantic suspense. I like Dani's though! Gage is a great name. It rolls off the tongue. And I need to stop there, hehe. ;-)

Dani Pettrey said...

Hi Abbi,

Thrilled you enjoyed Gage! Thanks so much for stopping by :))

Nancy Kimball said...

Awww, thank you, Dani. I enjoyed seeing you in all the pictures on FB and WynnWynn's feed last night.

Nancy Kimball said...

Welcome to FHF and I'm thrilled to have you and that you've already enjoyed Submerged. Shattered is just as good, picking up with Piper and Landon where Submerged left off. Best wishes in the drawing. =)

Dani Pettrey said...

Thanks so much for stopping by :)

Dani Pettrey said...

Hi Heidi,

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Dani Pettrey said...

Thanks for stopping by, Melanie. Hope you'll really enjoy Stranded!


Dani Pettrey said...

Hi Jennie,

Thrilled you enjoyed Stranded. There will definitely be a wedding in the future..;)


Dani Pettrey said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, Britney! So glad you enjoyed Gage's song :))


Dani Pettrey said...

Thanks for stopping by, Barbara. Glad you're hearing good things :))


Dani Pettrey said...

Waving hi Amanda!!! Isn't Nancy awesome!

Dani Pettrey said...

Hey Ganise,

Yay! So glad it arrived. Hope you'll enjoy Gage and Darcy's adventure. Thrilled you enjoyed Gage's song :)


Dani Pettrey said...


Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you'll love the series when you get a chance to read it.


Dani Pettrey said...

Awww. Thrilled you enjoyed Submerged. Hope you'll enjoy the rest of the series. Thanks so much for stopping by.


Bonnie Traher said...

Would so love to win this book.

Lisa Medeiros said...

I love this author and series! I read the first two in the series and can't wait to get my hands on book 3! :) Love how you breakdown and review the books!:)

Gretchen E.K. Engel said...

Gage is shaping up to be my favorite McKenna. I can't wait to read his story or better yet, listen to it on audio! I get drawn in on a whole new level.
Dani - We shared an elevator ride at the conference, but I had to get off before I got to tell you how much I love your books.

Dani Pettrey said...

Best of luck, Bonnie :)

Dani Pettrey said...

Thanks so much, Lisa. Thrilled you're enjoying the series.

Dani Pettrey said...

Hi Gretchen,

That's too funny. Hope you had a great time at the conference. Thrilled you're enjoying Stranded. Thanks so much for stopping by. Nancy does such an amazing job on FHF.

Keri-Elizabeth Walker said...

This series sounds wonderful! I've now added it to my to read list. If it's not too late, I would love to be entered into the drawing for the book. My email address is keletitbe14 at gmail dot com.

Nancy Kimball said...

Not too late, Keri-Elizabeth. We've got a few more days yet... while we're working on the new heroes. =)

Patty said...

I didn't read through all of the comments, but in the prologue Darcy's friend Abby in mentioned...


Nancy Kimball said...

Hi Patty, good to see you back! We need someone else and there's still plenty of people to choose from. Can't be a McKenna or any of the Yancy grew, but there's lots of characters on that cruise ship. So far we've used up:


No one has named the cruise director or any of those fun couples on the ocean kayaking trip that almost ended in disaster!

Ronya said...

Gage is amazing and I love him for the reasons you've mentioned. I love the hidden softness in him and that Darcy brings it out. The characters in this series, men and women are amazing. Dani is a phenomenal writer and I just can't get enough of her books....write faster please??, don't do that. I wouldn't want to forfeit the quality for speed. I'm very much looking forward to Silenced in the Spring!

As for my character from Stranded, I'm going to go with Ms. Mullins - I never did like that woman. Haha. I can't remember if her first name is given or not, but I lent my book to my mom so I can't check right now. Hopefully her last name will do.

I found your blog from a thread on the Avid Readers FB page. So glad I did. I look forward to reading future posts (and maybe going back to some of your previous ones).

And Dani, since I've noticed you are checking in...Thank you, Thank you for following God's leading and writing. He has given you an amazing gift and I'm so thankful that we get to experience it!

Nancy Kimball said...

Ronya, FINALLY someone named Ms. Mullins. I didn't like her either. EVER. =) Welcome to FHF and we're thrilled to have you and I am also a huge fan of Dani Pettrey. The woman can write a hero!

Nancy Kimball said...

You guys continue to make this so much fun for Joy and I. Many thanks to Dani for sharing Gage with us and his special song. I'll be waiting anxiously with the rest of you for book 4. ;-)

Courtesy of

$10 Gift Card drawing winner is Jennie W.
A copy of Stranded drawing winner is Angi.

Our new hero appears in a little under three hours... to kick of WWII Month at FHF. =)