Pettrey Explores Forgiveness

Dani Pettrey's SubmergedDani Pettrey. 2012. Submerged. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers.[1]

Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra

What does it mean to be forgiven? Which is more important, the forgiveness of God, forgiveness of those offended, or forgiveness of yourself? What makes forgiveness real? Sometimes the journeys that we take are not the trips that we plan.

In Dani Pettry’s novel, Submerged, we meet a beautiful and talented young woman, Bailey Craig, with a history. Bailey returns to the small town in Alaska where she grew up to bury her beloved aunt Agnes, who died in plane crash, and settle her aunt’s estate. As the days tick by, Bailey runs into her high school flame, Cole McKenna, who has not forgotten her and is now a deputy sheriff, and they both learn that the plane crash that killed her aunt was no accident. As other murders are uncovered, we learn that solving the murders requires detailed knowledge of Alaska’s Russian history that only Bailey poses. Will Bailey stay to face her past and find her aunt’s murderer or run away, as she did so many years ago? The answer depends on the depth of her experience of forgiveness.

Alaskan History

The backdrop of Pettrey’s romantic suspense is modern Alaska. In 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Steward negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia. The purchase added 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 km2) of new territory to the United States, but was ridiculed in the Congress as Steward’s Folly. Later gold and oil deposits were discovered and the Alaskan purchase proved wise indeed. Alaska became a state in 1959.[2]

Dani Pettrey

Dani Pettrey writes inspirational romantic suspense and has nine published titles.[3] She lives with her husband, two daughters, and son-in-law in Maryland. Submerged was her first published title in 2012.

Dani and I met in October at a conference of the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Association[4] in Woodbridge, Virginia. Intrigued, I later ordered a copy of Submerged online.


In Dani Pettry’s novel, Submerged, proved hard to put down. The storyline is fresh, credible, and cannot be anticipated; her characters are flawed, but live life deeply and struggle in overcoming their afflictions. I cried my way through the last couple chapters. Perhaps you will too.




[3] Submerged (2012), Shattered (2013), Stranded (2013), Silenced (2014), Sabotaged (2015),  Shadowed (2016), Cold Shot (2016), Still Life (2017), and Sins of the Past (2016).


Pettrey Explores Forgiveness

Also see:

Books, Films, and Ministry

Other ways to engage online:

Author site:, Publisher site:

Newsletter at:

Continue Reading

Prayer of Forgiveness

Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Blessed Lord Jesus,

We give thanks for your time among us and the gift of your Holy Spirit.

We give thanks that even from the cross you were able to forgive the sins,  our sins, which placed you there.

Grant us eyes that see and ears that hear that we might follow your example.

Give us the strength to see our own sins and to atone for them

and the courage to hear your voice when so many other voices seem more inviting.

May we testify, not to our truth, but to your truth by what say and do each passing day.

May the scales fall from our eyes in your baptism as for prophets of old.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Prayer of Forgiveness

Continue Reading