Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"Two Roads Home" A Chicory Inn Novel by Deborah Raney

Two Roads Home A Chicory Inn Novel by Deborah Raney
I was honored to receive Two Roads Home from Abingdon Press so that I could write an unbiased review.

Deborah Raney brings some home town family distress to the pages of her second novel in the Chicory Inn series. Not only are Audrey and Grant Whitman’s dream of owning and operating a bed and breakfast tarnishing a bit, but there is trouble with their eldest daughter’s family too.

 Deborah spins a tale which embraces parents of adult children, some of which have children of their own. This is a close knit family, who despite their love and loyalty struggle with negative attitudes and unfortunate situations that have to be dealt with or else!

When Jesse Pennington, Audrey and Grant’s son-in-law, is accused of sexual harassment by a disgruntled woman coworker the influence is felt throughout the family. Corinne and Jesse’s three young daughters safety is threatened…could the coworker have anything to do with that?  I’m not telling.

Deborah has successfully gotten into the thoughts and attitudes of this family in crisis. The tension builds…making one think about how they would feel and handle such a crisis if their character, family loyalty, and safety were attacked this way.  

Deborah Raney is an award winning author including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award and has been a Christy Award finalist twice.

If you’re looking for a hometown wholesome read this is your book! In fact there is a free sample chapter for the third book in this series called Another Way Home. This series of novels include a group discussion guide for your readers group, which I believe connect with the reader in a practical way.

Questions for Deb:

1)  You hit on a very emotional topic when you brought in the sexual harassment accusation. What inspired you to take the novel in this direction?
    We often read about workplace sexual harassment involving men harassing women, but I thought it would be interesting to explore it from the point of view of a man who is falsely accused, and it’s actually the woman doing the harassing. It was an interesting and eye-opening topic to explore! 

2)  Were you tempted to write a silver lining in the middle of Jesse and Corinne’s difficulties?
    I’m always tempted to write silver linings! I’m a Pollyanna who really hates putting her characters in peril, hates seeing them suffer. But there’s no tension and no story if happy endings happen too soon!

3)  Do you still relate most to Audrey in this novel, like you did in Home to Chicory Lane? Yes Deb, I remembered from the previous interview we did from this first novel in the series!
    LOL! Thank you for remembering. Yes, Audrey, but I could also really relate to Corinne in this book. Especially her feelings of inferiority and envy where her sisters are concerned. I adore my own sisters, but often struggle with feeling that they are cuter, skinnier, more talented, etc. And they are both younger! So it was fun to explore those feelings in Corinne as well.

4)  You have a knack for getting inside your character’s heads. What experience in your life has aided you to develop that skill?
    It’s probably just the way I was raised. I can remember my mom often saying some form of,  “Just think how you’d feel if you were in their shoes!” It was her way of teaching us to be compassionate, and it serves me well in life—when I remember to apply it!

5)  What would you speak to a person when they instinctively suspect someone’s dangerous interest or actions, but cannot prove it?
    I think people need to know which direction they lean—too trusting, or too suspicious—before I could advise them. Bottom line, I would encourage them to be aware, be in prayer, and involve a trusted friend or counselor if in doubt.

6)  What would you like to relay to your readers or potential readers right now?
    I just hope my readers continue to enjoy getting to know the Whitman family. I’ve tried very hard to make them real, yet good examples despite their human flaws. Most of all, I hope readers see that the reason for any success my characters enjoy is simply Jesus!

7)  What is your favorite novel in this series of five?
    Ha! My favorite is always the one I’m currently working on. But I have a feeling when the series is done and I can be a little more objective about each story, it will be the third book, Another Way Home, that I have a soft spot for in my heart.

8)  Do you keep or share photos of the characters that you write about? Maybe on Instagram?
    I have a Pinterest board with photos of my setting, characters (not all of them yet…showing the characters before all the books are out would give too many spoilers!), and my book covers. I’d love for readers to take a look!

9)  How would you like your readers to contact you?