For the first two decades of her career, Danielle Grandinetti worked in education, first as a piano teacher and then as a writing coach for middle and high school students. Her educational background includes an M.A. in Communication and Culture from Trinity International University, a B.A. in Communication from Louisiana Baptist University, and an A.A. in Biblical Studies from New Tribes Bible Institute, as well Apprentice, Journeyman, and Craftsman Level certifications from the Christian Writers Guild.
Reading and writing aren’t the only ways Danielle has experienced adventure. Short-term missions work has taken her to various countries—from Bolivia, Italy, and England to Uganda. And volunteer work with middle schoolers has taken her outside of her comfort zone, with activities that include whitewater rafting and zip lining.
The best adventure of all, according to Danielle, took her to eastern Wisconsin, where she lives on the shores of Lake Michigan with her husband, her two boys, and a Labrador puppy.
What started you on your writing journey?
I began writing in grade school. I vividly recall writing my first short story in second or third grade and I never stopped. I’ve always been an avid reader and loved the power of story.
Great novels almost always have a plot twist that makes the story even better. Have you ever experienced a real life “plot twist” or Divine detour that made your life better?
Most definitely. I was headed to Italy as a full-time missionary when God sent a plot twist. At a loss for direction, God flung open the doors to study writing in a cohort format. I’m still friends with my fellow writers from that time.
God threw another plot twist at me after my second child was born in early 2020. After twenty years in education, I couldn’t keep up with being a mom of two young boys, health issues, and the challenges facing students & teachers that year. A few months after I left my job, once again, God threw open the doors to writing when I received the contract for A Strike to the Heart.
Let’s talk about your new book, A Strike to the Heart (Heritage Beacon, April 2022). Please tell us about it.
She’s fiercely independent. He’s determined to protect her.
Wisconsin, 1933 — When a routine mission becomes an ambush that kills his team, Craft Agency sniper Miles Wright determines to find the persons responsible and protect the woman he rescued. But the fierce independence that led Lily Moore to leave her family’s dairy business for the solitary life of a dog trainer and the isolation of her farm don’t make that easy. Neither does his unwanted attraction to her. Meanwhile, escalating incidents confirm that she’s far from safe.
Lily fears letting the surprisingly gentle retired marine into her life almost as much as she fears whoever is threatening her. As Wisconsin farmers edge toward another milk strike, one that will surely turn violent, it becomes clear that the plot against Lily may be part of a much larger conspiracy. When the search for her abductor leads close to home, she must decide whether to trust her family or the man who saved her life.
A Strike to the Heart has two related novellas: To Stand in the Breach is the prequel novella and is currently available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other e-book retailers; As Silent as the Night is the Christmas novella, which will release in September 2022 and is now available for pre-order.
What was the inspiration for the main story?
A Strike to the Heart began as a contemporary romantic suspense, but when Wisconsin farmers were recently faced with low milk prices, I learned it wasn’t the first time that happened. The 1933 milk strikes provided the perfect setting to bring Lily and Miles’s story alive.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Dark chocolate. The darker the better and if it happens to have peppermint or candy cane chunks mixed in … it’s a piece of heaven.
Stories and/or parables are an integral part of both the Old and New Testaments. Is there a Bible story, parable, or passage that has been particularly important to you and/or describes your personal journey of faith?
I love how story plays such an important role in the Bible! For me, I often find myself in the Psalms because the authors echo so much of what is in my own heart at various times in my life.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I’ve always felt that I’m the girl next door, the friend who is the sounding board (which I’ve never felt to be a negative thing). But, when the popular boy wanted to marry me, I felt like my life turned into a real-life romance story.
Thanks, Danielle! It’s nice to have you as a guest at Divine Detour.
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