With sales of more than a half a million copies of her novels, Dani Pettrey’s fiction combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance.

Her latest novel is The Crushing Depths (Bethany House), the second book her Coastal Guardians series: Following the death of an oil-rig worker on a drilling platform, Coast Guard investigators uncover a murder—and must race to catch the killer while a tropical storm cuts them off from any rescue.

In this exclusive interview, Dani explains how her fans’ enthusiasm for the characters’ stories fueled the series, shares a peek into the lives of her two main protagonists, and reveals the biggest challenged in writing the story.

The Crushing Depths is the second book in The Coastal Guardians series. What inspired the series?

Noah Rowley, the CGIS team leader, first appeared as a secondary character in my Chesapeake Valor series. I liked him so much and readers sent emails asking for more of him, I decided he needed his own story. My family and I vacation down in North Carolina every summer and I adore Wilmington, so I gave Noah a promotion, put him as regional director and developed his investigative team.

Your story includes activists protesting oil drilling platforms and deals with a mysterious death on an oil rig. What aspect of the story did you find the most challenging as you wrote the book?

Making sure I painted as close to an accurate picture of life on an oil rig as possible. I spent a lot of time researching, reading books, watching movies, and most helpful, were the men who’ve worked on rigs all over the world for two decades. It’s a completely different world working and living on a rig.

What can you share with us about the protagonists, Rissi and Mason?

Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers met as teens in an abusive children’s home. While only in the house together for a matter of months, the two developed a special friendship—one that has lingered despite the decade apart.

When Rissi goes to meet the newest member of the CGIS team, she stops dead in her tracks. The boy she knew was now a man and was standing less than a foot from her.

Did any of the characters surprise you as the series developed? Do you have a favorite?

Rissi and Mason are definitely my favorite couple, but two other team members—Emmy and Logan, have worked their way into my readers’ hearts. I get so many emails about when their story will be told, and I’m equally hooked.

What would you like readers to take away after reading The Crushing Depths?

That love, faith and hope endure in the best and worst of circumstances. God’s light is stronger than any darkness.

Visit Dani Pettrey’s Author Page:

The Crushing Depths
Coastal Guardians #2
Dani Pettrey
Bethany House


Check out more great articles

About The Author

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.