Friday, December 12, 2014




Silver Bells by Deborah Raney

Deborah Raney’s wholesome Summerside Press novel takes the reader back to winter in the early 1970s.  A young woman, Michelle Penn, has decided to take a job and an apartment to become independent. She has moved on from a past heartbreak or has she?
Robert Merrick III was a popular student when he and Michelle attended high school together. Their paths had never really crossed…before now. Will Rob find the courage to pursue his deepest desires?
Deborah Raney has authored more than twenty-five books! She has won the RITA Award, ACFW Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, National Reader’s Choice Award, Silver Angel, and has twice been a Christy award finalist. She also wrote a book, which became a movie called A Vow to Cherish.  I’ve not had the pleasure to see it yet, but I’ve heard that it is a must-see!

Hush now…don’t tell a soul, but I’m sort of a child from the ‘70s. A little later in the ‘70s of course, but I remember the songs and the small town coziness that most of us may long for and which Deb has captured in this novel. I loved the diverse characters and the roles they play in this sweet novel. I enjoyed this read so much that I laughed aloud several times! Silver Bells is a fun, enjoyable read that touches on some very serious issues. If you are old enough to have lived through the ‘70s this is a nice stroll down memory lane. I suggest that Silver Bells rings with promise and would make a wonderful Christmas present for someone on your gift list.

Questions:
1.     Deb, how did you come up with this story?

Parts of it are MY story. Simply because, as you mentioned, it’s set in the ‘70s when I grew up. But also, I share some of Michelle’s history: I grew up on a farm, attended Kansas State University, worked in a small-town newspaper office, and in more recent years, have worked with homeless or struggling young moms and their families through volunteering in a homeless shelter.


2.    These characters are very different from one another making their interactions fun. Did you model them from any people that you know?

In my first two or three books, most of my characters looked the same—they were ME! But I quickly realized that if I was going to be writing for more than a few books, I would need to learn how to create unique characters for each book. So for the last eighteen years or so, my characters are created “from scratch.” I can’t really explain how that happens. I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, and my characters seem to just develop as I write the story.

3.    Do you use Briggs and Meyers for your character’s development?

I have played with those kind of character development tools in the past, along with filling out character trait sheets, or using real people I know. But my seat-of-the-pants tendencies make it more natural for my characters to simply form and grow as the story does.

4.    Is Bristol, Kansas a real place or did you make it up?
I rarely write about real towns, simply because if I have my characters eating at the Hitchin’ Post Cafe, by the time my book releases, the Hitchin’ Post may have closed down. Also, in small towns like those I set my  novels in, there is only one mayor, one principal, one postmaster, one bank president, so writing about those characters in your novel, could get you in trouble with the real life counterparts. I do usually set my fictional small towns near a real larger city. My characters might travel to Wichita or Salina, or Cape Girardeau, etc. to give readers some context, but my small towns are always fictional.


5.    I could imagine another romance coming from this Christian Romance story and these characters…but the readers will have to read your novel to see if they can figure out whom I mean! Do you have a sequel in mind?

Ha! I almost always have MORE to the story than the reader will ever see. I have several novels I’d love to write sequels to, but a sequel is largely determined by my other contracts (ie., by the time I fulfill my contracts, it might be too late for a sequel), by who owns the rights to the book and whether they are willing to publish a sequel, and of course, by how well the first book sold. In the case of Silver Bells, the publisher, Summerside Press, was bought by Guideposts shortly after my book came out.

6.    What ways do you wish for your readers to contact you?

    
I very much enjoyed learning about Deb’s involvement with struggling young mothers  and volunteering in a homeless shelter. Her struggling character rang true as I read about this lady and her situation. Deb is offering a give away! You only have to leave an email in a post so that you may be considered. I will not sell your email or address information to marketing agencies. This offer only applies to United States addresses.Thank you Deb for a very positive interview and for a lovely and entertaining story…one that matters. 

The winner will be announced on Monday, December 29! Let the posting begin! 

69 comments:

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Saundra McKenzie! I wish you the best!

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    1. Greetings Majen! You are welcome! Best of luck to you!

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    1. Good morning SPUDS Employee! It will be interesting to see who wins!

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  4. Thank you for sharing your conversation with Deborah! I would love to read "Silver Bells". :)

    psalm103and138[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Greetings Caryl Kane! You are most welcome! Deborah is a lovely woman - she is genuine and truely has a big heart. I've met her in passing and sat in her class once at a writer's conference. She is one of the best! I'm thrilled that you could stop by!

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  5. Thanks for the interview - and the giveaway! tjtweeter@yahoo.com. :)

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    1. Hi there Teresa Leacock! It was my pleasure to interview Deborah and read this book. I also have her "Home to Chicory Lane" novel and will post about that novel in the future! I wish you the best!

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    1. You are so welcome Wendy Marple! Thank you for stopping by!

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    1. Greetings Kim Boyd! You are welcome! And you are in the drawing!

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  8. I enjoyed the interview. Thanks for the giveaway!
    sheri.carneal@gmail.com

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    1. Me too Me too Sheri! It was fun getting to know Deb through this interview! So encouraging that there are more people than we know helping others in need. You will love this book once you read it!

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  9. I so enjoyed the questions to Deborah in your interview. Thanks. Merry Christmas
    kathydobyns@gmail.com

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    1. Hi Kathy Dobyns! I too so enjoy getting to know the authors behind the novels! You are in the running!

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  10. I enjoyed the interview. I like to learn more about Deborah. Would love to win Silver Bells! jarning67athotmaildotcom

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    1. Hi there Joan Arning! I suggest that you check out more of her novels because there is always a bit of the author in the story! Good luck!

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  11. I'd love to win Silver bells. contestmichelle at hotmail dot com

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    1. Hi there Michelle Li! I'm so glad you stopped in to sign up for "Silver Bells"!

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  12. I am a retired librarian and Silver Bells was in our collection. It has always been very popular and Whenever I see the title I always begin to hum the song with the same title. Thank you for this interview and for the chance to own my own copy of Silver Bells.
    Merry Christmas and blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi Connie! Thank you for telling us about how popular "Silver Bells" was when you were a librarian! Deborah will be thrilled to know this. It is always encouraging for authors to hear that they are received and that their stories matter! You are in the running!

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  13. I would love to win this book. Thank you for the opportunity!
    Kandimamaof5@yahoo.com

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    1. Thank you Kandi723! I really enjoyed the interaction between the characters! You are most welcome to this opportunity! I've just started reading "Home To Chicory Lane"& my advice is to pick that one up soon!

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    2. I'll be looking for that book. Thank you for the information!

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    1. Thank you Ann Badder! Deborah is very generous to provide this book for the give-away isn't she! You are very welcome! :)

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  15. I enjoyed reading about this conversation. I would love to win this book. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Cindy99@mac.com

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    1. Cindy, thank you for dropping by! I love writing up questions for the authors. I have a couple more interviews on this blog but I also have some others on my susanmarlenekinney.blogspot.com And I have a Devotion give away on this blog right now. ;) It will be exciting to see who wins!!!!

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  16. Great interview! I would love to read the book. Thanks for the giveaway.
    ldwrncpn(at)comcast(dot)net

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    1. Thank you Lori Weller! I refuse to reveal the plot when I give a book critique & I love to interview published authors! So much blood, sweat, & tears goes into each and every book! ;)

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  17. Thanks for the chance. Loved the interview. jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

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    1. I appreciate giving you the chance to win squiresj! I'm always excited for the winner & hope that those who don't will find their way to the bookstore to get their own copy! ;) Thank you for enjoying the interview! Check out any of my previous interviews if you'd like! Deborah's "Home To Chicory Lane"is her recent release...I 'd like to share that one in a month or two! :)

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  18. I would love to read this book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi Linda Kish! Thank you for stopping by! I'm glad you did! I certainly hope that you do read SILVER BELLS! :)

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  19. Had you already planned this or did you decide to take my suggestion on Facebook? :) Doesn't matter as long as it's another opportunity to win a book. My email is grandaddya@gmail.com.

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    1. Greeting Edward...I've done book reports a few times & a few book
      give-aways. I have to admit that I've learned more about mass give aways or .99 cent books. It is still difficult to do so though! LOL! Thank you for dropping in!

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  20. Thanks for directing me to the right page to comment. I would look 've to win. My email is momndad243@yahoo.com

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    1. Greetings Polly! I'm so glad you found my page! This is actually the first time ever I've had two book give-aways at the same time! A historic moment for inkyquillbysuzie! This may also be the first time I hosted a contemporary author I do believe and it is an honor to have Deborah Raney for that first contemporary! You are certainly in the running. :<)

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  21. Enjoyed the interview! earog@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Earog! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the interview! I do believe the best authors are those involved with helping outers in some capacity. They are living life large and it comes through on their pages! Deborah is one of those for sure and for certain! :)Thank you for stopping by!

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  22. I enjoyed reading about the "behind the scenes" of this book. I really like Deb's books and especially enjoy reading Christmas books this time of year, so Silver Bells would be wonderful to win. Thanks for the chance!
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail]dot]com

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    1. Greetings Pam! I'm like you concerning the behind the scenes info appreciation. I enjoyed Deb's book so much but after I sent off the questions and learned more about her personally...well when I rethink the characters and story it puts and even deeper warmth in my heart! This is a feel good novel! A reread!

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  23. I'd love to win and read Silver Bells by Deborah Raney. brown.k centurytel.net

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    1. Thank you Kd! You certainly have the opportunity to win! I was going to only have a week wait but with Christmas celebrations I though it best to wait .....irritating but anticipation is half the fun right! :)

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  24. Thank you for offering another copy of your book Silver Bells. Merry Christmas and God bless you for you generosity. ebnccfnad@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi there ebnccfnad! Deborah is generous to offer this book for the win isn't she! Merry Christmas to you also! She will certainly make someone's Christmas brighter...even though the winner will be announced after Christmas! Thank you much!

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  25. Silver Bells takes place in the 70's when I was born. I enjoyed reading the interview you did with Deborah today Susan Marlene Kinney . Her book sounds great and I would love to have an opportunity to see how it turns out.
    Cnnamongirl (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Greetings Deanne! I saw you on my other book give away....for the devotion I have running right now! :) You are most welcome. I've not seen too many '70s books out there...well okay ...I've not read any! I'm glad that Deborah wrote this one! :) You are in the running Deanne!

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  26. Interesting insight into why some novels with that sequel feel don't get sequels. I've often wondered about it. Thanks! lannawebb@rrwebb.net

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    1. Greetings Lanna! Oh the novels in the heart of writers that never get written because of limitations with budgets and timing etc.! I wonder if we readers wrote to publishers and if we wrote those positive referrals if we could allow more sequels to happen...just a thought! Anyone reading this...if you can take a moment of your time and write positive reviews that really helps on so many levels..the author, publisher and other readers! Thank you all!

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  27. Thanks so much for all the great comments and encouraging words, and thanks for having me on your blog, Susan! Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

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    1. Hi Debodrah! You are most welcome on my blog anytime! It is evident that your readers do love you! Thank you for sharing novels that are home-town wholesome and encouraging and entertaining all at once! You are a blessing! Merry Christmas to you Deb and to all these who wrote on the blog!

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  28. Sounds like a great book and I would love to read it. My email is steveandellengray@yahoo.com

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  29. Thank you much Ellen Gray! You are in the running! You may just find out .. :) I'm glad you stopped in! Be blessed!

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  30. Susan, and all, I can tell you that publishers DO listen to their readers and if enough readers requested a sequel to a book, that would definitely increase the chances of it getting published. Of course sales are still king, so the first book would have to have sold well enough, but readers are WHY we write and WHY publishers continue to publish books! Win/win! :)

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    1. Hi Deborah! Every now and then I have actually written a review! I think I will try to do that after the holidays because I've prayed for Christian media for over 20 years. This would be a way to really support Christian media!

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  31. Oh my goodness! As I'm sitting here reading your blog, the song "Silver Bells" is playing on Pandora! Wow. Thank you Sue, for such a great blog that honors writers and especially honors daughters of the King. You are loved, my dear sister!

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    1. LOL I love that Debby! How funny! I love it when stuff happen like that Silver Bells playing when you were reading this! I'm so glad that you could stop in and see what Deb has to offer with Silver Bells. :) Thank you so much Debby! You are precious and loved! Bless you!

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  32. I absolutely LOVE Deb Raney AND her awesome books!! She is one of the very first authors I read when I "discovered" Christian fiction. Then when I was blessed to meet her in person at my very first ACFW conference (where I also met YOU, dear Sue!) I was amazed at how kind and down-to-earth she is. Her book Silver Bells is on my "keeper shelf" (along with all of my other Deborah Raney books). :)
    Hugs, Patti Jo

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  33. Hi Patti Jo! I love that you know Deb's work so well! That says a lot when you keep a book on the "keeper shelf" with all her other novels! That is like a huge applaud!!! Deborah is wonderful to meet in person. She is very friendly and personable for sure! I do remember meeting you Patti Jo! I'm so glad we met! Sorry we couldn't spend more time together at the last conference! Imagine laryngitis at a writer's conference! LOL! Next time we will take a meal together! :)

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  34. I always love to win a new book! Merry Christmas!
    jarning67athotmaildotcom

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    1. Greetings Joan Arning! I must agree...I love a new book! You are in the running Joan. Merry Christmas to you. The week after Christmas we will reveal the winner of Deb's book! Drum-roll please!

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    2. I'm not too techy and my first attempt didn't seem to work...anyway, I met you (Deb) in ACFW in 2010. I'm very much looking forward to reading this book. I know I'll love the setting...cozy, caring and small-town. Love it!

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    3. Greetings Becky! I'm glad that you made it. I know that some people have had difficulty getting on this address for some reason??? :) I just got back from a trip to PA ...visiting family. So here I am. I've go to take the names to a friend or see if my granddaughter is healthy enough to pick another name. She really got sick on our trip! :( I will post the winner later today and send Deb the name so that she can get the book out to the fortunate - lucky - to be blessed winner! Thank you all for your patience!

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  35. We have chosen the winner for Deborah Raney’s Silver Bells. Unfortunately Aria , my granddaughter, was very tired when my hubby and I visited Vanessa and family yesterday. So I had my hubby pick a random number and discovered that Squiresj is the fortunate winner of this ‘70s novel! Congratulations Squiresj, I’m sure that you will enjoy this excursion back in time with this wonderful story! I will contact Deb next and you will hear from her soon! Thank you for stopping in and sighing up for this opportunity!

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