Sunday, September 13, 2015

Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney

Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney

I love the introduction to this story, found on the back story cover—WELCOME TO CHICORY INN…WHERE FAMILY IS (ALMOST) ALWAYS WELCOME! This stirs up a lot of questions doesn’t it! Deb Raney you surely got the wheels in my head turning with that one!

Once again Deb has captured the characters on the page as though they came from flesh and blood individuals. I like her characters and their interactions with one another. I appreciate the depth and realism of ‘who’ these characters represent. I’ve read other books by other authors where I didn’t like the characters and no matter how skillfully those stories are written I just don’t enjoy them as much. Everything I’ve read by Deb Raney has captured me with her characters.

This contemporary story is one that will keep you rooting for Audrey and Grant Whitman and their newly remodeled home turned into a bed and breakfast as well as the reason for the surprise visit—complete with a trailer full of belongings—from their young, newly married daughter.

There were times I laughed and times I cringed when thinking oh goodness what can happen now. Deborah Raney weaves stories that matter in the fabric of our everyday life with skillfulness and grace. I found myself identifying and understanding Audrey and Grant’s concerns and position as well as Landyn and Chase. Deb spans the points of views from one generation to the next so beautifully. Realistically.

I give a thumbs up rating for this novel and I can’t wait to hear what you will have to say about it too! I have the next book in the series in hand called Two Roads Home, which Deb graciously had sent to me and I’ll be reporting on it soon.

Looking for a heartwarming read that encourages and leaves you feeling happy…I advise a run to your local bookstore so that you can pick up a copy of Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney!

Questions for Deb are like having a wonderful one on one visit!

1)     Deb I really enjoyed your novel. Small town stories filled with hope and overcoming stir me. How did you come up with this story?
My friend, author Courtney Walsh, planted the idea for the Chicory Inn Novels one evening while we sat chatting late into the night at a conference. Id told several family stories during our visit, and at one point Courtney said, “Deb, you have so many fun family stories, you ought to write a book about a big extended family like yours! Or better yet, a series!” That got my wheels turning, and Ive been excited about the people who live on Chicory Lane ever since!

2)     Did you ever consider or dream about having your own bed and breakfast? (Or know someone who did?)
Ever since I spent several weeks writing at a lovely, quiet bed and breakfast near our small-town home, I’ve dreamed about running my own inn. I honestly don’t think it would be a wise choice for me…the paperwork would get me down, and probably the laundry too. But maybe someday I could “babysit” for somebody’s B&B while they’re on vacation and get just a taste of being an innkeeper.

3)     How do you write these two generations and their points of view so skillfully?
I’m a huge eavesdropper! I love listening to my kids and their spouses and friends talk, and I take mental notes about the differences between the way twenty- and thirty-somethings speak and the way us old folks speak. I just try to listen and take notes, and sometimes I will run a section of dialogue by my kids to ask them if this sounds authentic for someone their age. I’m so thrilled to know you think I’ve nailed it! 

4)     I’m eager to read Two Roads Home, which is the second book in the CHICORY INN series. Will there be a third book in this series?
There are actually FIVE books planned for this series! I’ve written all but the final book, and it’s on my to-do list once I return from the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Dallas. The third book, Another Way Home, will be in bookstores around October 20! It may be my favorite of the series so far!

5)     What would you like to say to your readers, or potential readers, right now about the concerns you wrote about in these novels?
I’ve always enjoyed writing contemporary stories about Christian couples and Christian families dealing with ordinary (and sometimes extraordinary) problems. I love showing how a family’s faith can make a difference as they go through trials and temptations. In this series, I’ve dealt with marital separation, sexual harassment in the workplace, infertility, family loyalty, and other issues. I hope it’s clear to readers that I believe strongly that faith makes life on this earth not just bearable, but joyful!

6)     Who is your favorite character in this novel and why?
I probably relate most to Audrey, “Mom” to the Whitman children because she’s in the same place in life that I am: enjoying the empty nest, doing some things she’s always wanted to do, but couldn’t while her children were still at home. I understand her deep love for her kids, loving their spouses as if they were her own, the thrill of adding grandchildren to the family, and the sorrow a mother feels when her grown children are struggling. Hmmm… I think maybe Audrey is ME!

7)     How would you like your readers to contact you?
I love hearing from my readers, and meeting up with them on social media. Here are some places you’ll find me hanging out:

Just a suggestion to all readers…when you love an author then please write recommendations about the novels you treasure and the authors who use their skill and talents to bring about stories that inspire you. This lets others know about those good reads and keeps the publishers and authors encouraged and informed about what types of stories matter to you. Thank you for stopping by my blog! I hope to see you again in the near future! 


  1. Interesting interview. I am not familiar with this writer, though her work is sparking some curiosity for me even though this is not my favorite genre.

    Is this the blog where you write most often, Suzie? Multiple blogs confuse simple-minded me. Thank you for the suggestions about drinking water. Sounds as if you have made it enjoyable while I am still at the choke it down stage. =D

    1. Hi Vee, yes I do write here more often. Writing is my passion! I'm a teachers aide and my students are sometimes fascinated with what fruit I have floating in my water day by day! I had no idea that plopping a bit of fruit in my water would make such a difference. :) Tap water still will not work and I use a Brita water filter to take away the taste of chemicals.