Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Monday, June 08, 2015

Deborah Raney - Two Roads Home - Giveaway!

Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today, Deborah Raney visits Lagniappe to discuss her latest, Two Roads Home.

Welcome, Deb!

Tell us a little about Two Roads Home.

This is the second in the Chicory Inn Novels series from Abingdon Press. Each of the five books in the series focuses on one of the grown children of Grant and Audrey Whitman. In Two Roads Home, I explored issues of changing careers mid-stream, temptation, and what it means to make sacrifices for those you love.   

If you weren't a writer, what would be another dream job?
One of the reasons I decided to write about an empty nest couple running a B&B is because I’ve always thought that would be a really fun job. I love to bake, I love decorating, I love having company in my home. I don’t even mind doing laundry, cleaning, and making beds. The only part I would hate is the bookwork. I’ll probably never actually run a B&B, but I’m having fun living vicariously through my characters on Chicory Lane. Now I’m dreaming about opening my own coffee shop. Hmmm… Maybe that’s what my next series will be about?

Briefly describe one of your typical writing days?
One of the things I really love about my career as a writer is that no day is the same. I love that I’m free to rearrange my schedule and go on an impromptu date with my husband, or out to lunch with my sisters. But the majority of my weekdays look like this: Wake at 4:30 or 5 and answer e-mail, read blogs (including a couple of devotionals), and enjoy the early morning hours that are my favorite. At 6:30, my husband and I hop on the treadmill and elliptical, watching a favorite TV series to make the time go faster. After we’ve showered, we read a chapter in the Bible and pray together for our kids and families. Around 9, we make an omelet together, but take our breakfast and coffee or tea to our respective offices (he’s downstairs, I’m upstairs—or outside if the weather allows.) There, I write for several hours, including time for research, if needed. We don’t eat lunch, but have a very early “supper” around 4 p.m., then we might work in the yard, or work on a house project before going back to work for several hours in the evening. We’re usually in bed reading by 10 p.m.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? Hobbies, etc?
Ken and I love working in the yard. We’ve moved almost every plant that was here when we moved, taking a scattering of rosebushes and turning them into a rose garden, and getting clematis trained on the posts near our shade garden under the deck. We love planning flower pots and flower boxes and spend a lot of time outside spring through autumn. We also love to go garage sale-ing and shopping for treasures in second-hand and antique shops.

What were some of the challenges (research, literary, psychological, or logistical) you faced in bringing this story to life?
I think one of the biggest challenges of this series has been to not make this story too much like my own family and extended family! I’ve purposely not written about any specific events from our families’ lives, and yet, the events and relationships in the novels can’t help but draw from the dynamics and personalities we’ve experienced being part of large Christian families. And I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing! 

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
There are SO many authors  I love, it’s hard not to have room to name them all, but a few recent favorites are Cynthia Ruchti, Katie Ganshert, and Courtney Walsh. Also, Susan Meissner, who’s been writing for a long time, but is a relatively new discovery for me. Of course, I’ll always read anything from my long-time favorites, Tamera Alexander (who has been my critique partner for a dozen years or more!), Robin Lee Hatcher, Ann Tatlock, and many more. 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before and is it a place you'd set a story?
Oh yes! I dream dream dream of visiting York, England and standing in front of the house where my great-great grandfather lived as a child, before my great-great-great grandparents sailed for America. My grandparents, parents, and several other members of my family have made the trip and gotten to have their photo taken in front of that house. (The current owners are so accommodating to let our family impose on them!) Some day! Here’s a photo of the entry to that house…and now you know why it’s such a dream of mine! 

Where do you write? Can you describe your favorite writing place?

After writing my first few novels at our kitchen table (which was our only table back then!) I have, in the empty nest, a wonderful dedicated office. At my husband’s recommendation, it includes a great coffee bar (featuring my collection of 70+ mugs). I love my office, but whenever possible, I like to write out on our back deck. I love being outside, and the days it’s possible in Kansas are far too rare.


Coffee or Tea? I enjoy a cup of tea now and then, but coffee is an every-day-twice-a-day necessity.

Laptop or Desktop? Laptop. I haven’t owned a desktop in at least a dozen years. My MacBook Pro is everything I’ll ever need in a computer!

Socks or slippers or both? Barefoot all day every day, except in the deadest of winter, then it’s socks.)

Fingernail Polish: Jazzy or Subtle? Subtle, as in none. I always have my toes polished, but I do too much gardening, painting, and typing to keep fingernails pretty for more than an hour.

Y’all or You Guys? Here in Kansas it’s “you guys”—even if you guys are girls. :)

The Chicory Inn Series

What if it’s too late for dreams to come true?Minor-but-nagging setbacks continue to sour Grant and Audrey Whitman’s initiation into the world of innkeeping, but larger challenges brew when an innocent flirtation leads to big trouble for the Whitmans’ son-in-law, Jesse. Jesse Pennington’s friendly, outgoing personality has always served him well, especially in a career that has earned him and his wife Corinne a very comfortable lifestyle. But Corinne and Jesse are both restless—and for similar reasons, if only they could share those with each other. Instead, too many business trips and trumped-up charges of harassment from a disgruntled coworker threaten their marriage and possibly put their three precious daughters at risk. With their life in disarray, God is tugging at their hearts to pursue other dreams. Can Corinne and Jesse pick up the pieces of what was once a wonderful life before it all crumbles beneath them?

DEBORAH RANEY's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched her writing career after twenty happy years as a stay-at-home mom. She is currently writing a new five-book series, the The Chicory Inn Novels. Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, recently traded small-town life in Kansas––the setting of many of Deb's novels––for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita. They love traveling to visit four children and five grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deb on the Web at

Deb, thanks for sharing!

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe!

Answer Deb's question to be eligible to win a copy of 
Two Roads Home!

What is YOUR favorite Dessert?

I pray you find 
"a little something extra" 
in each of your days.



Rebecca Bell said...

My favorite dessert is sweet potato pie with whipped cream. I'm usually only able to get it at Thanksgiving so it makes it a special treat.

Thank you so much for hosting Deborah Raney today on your blog. I can't wait to read Two Roads Home. The first book was really good. It was really nice learning more about Deborah from this post. I also like going second-hand shopping. That is my favorite thing to do when my best friend and I get together.
Blessings for a great week.

Shawna Young said...

So many desserts to pick from. :) They are all great, but my favorite would have to be blueberry pie. Yummy!

Robin Bunting said...

Do I really have to pick one desert????? That is so very hard to do. But I guess I would pick lemon merangue (sp) pie. Love the sweet and tart at the same time.

Really enjoyed the interview with Deborah Raney. Thank you.

Caryl Kane said...

I enjoy chocolate desserts!

Danielle Hull said...

That was a great interview! I'm gonna say cheesecake because it covers chocolate and raspberry and lemon and pistachio and... :)

Anonymous said...

Brown Sugar pound cake

Jennifer said...

Strawberry shortcake i s my favorite dessert. I enjoyed reading this interview with Deb and look forward to reading her latest book. :)

Rebecca Barlow Jordan said...

Favorite dessert? Anything chocolate. And cheesecake--any kind!

Connie said...

So many but I really love chocolate or butterscotch pie! Thanks for this interview and giveaway.

Vicky said...

I love strawberry shortcake!

Vicki L said...

Red Velvet Cake

ptclayton said...

My fav desert is tiramasu not sure if that is spelled right but i go to Olive Garden and love their deserts so I usually get that to go then eat 1/2 and 1/2 on diff days as it is so rich!

deana dick said...

Thanks for a great giveaway and an awesome interview. My favorite dessert is peach cobbler fresh out of the oven, bubbly hot with a hint of cinnamon in the air.

Linda Rainey said...

My favorite dessert is German Chocolate cake. My grandmother made the best from scratch.Thanks for the giveaway and I love the interview.

squiresj said...

My favorite dessert right now is fresh strawberries from garden over ice cream. I live empty nest. Hate cleaning and making beds. Love baking , cooking. and bookwork. I would love a coffee shop.

squiresj said...

Squiresj - forgot my email. - jrs362 at hotmail. dot com

Phyllis Weaver said...

Deborah Raney is a favorite author of mine and such a wonderful person. As a former teacher, I had several of her children in class and our oldest and youngest children were in the same grade in school - great family! My favorite dessert (there are so many) is Tiramasu. Yum, Yum!

gramtam said...

Right now, while on my weight loss plan and trying to be "good", I would have to say yogurt, but, I love warm cherry pie with vanilla ice cream, or coconut cake, or banana pudding or...sorry, couldn't name just one (now you know why I am on a weight loss plan). :)

Ann Ellison said...

Really enjoyed the interview. I don't have a favorite desert (sorry I couldn't resist.) My favorite dessert is strawberry short cake.

Karen said...

Hmmm, what is not dessert that I don't like? My favorite would probably be pecan pie!

Deborah Raney said...

You guys are making me HUNGRY with all your delicious recommendations! Thanks so much for commenting. And thank you, Marian, for hosting me on your blog! Great to be here!

Deborah Raney said...

Phyllis Weaver! So great to see you here! And Tiramisu is one of my favorites too! We'll have to meet at Olive Garden sometime over coffee and dessert! :)

Pam K. said...

I'm glad to discover by reading the other comments that I can tell my favorite dessert, not favorite desert. I have far more experience with desserts than deserts! It's hard to pick just one, but I'll go with ice cream. A bowl of vanilla ice cream with sliced fresh strawberries and a drizzle of chocolate sauce would be delightful on this hot, humid day!
Thanks for the chance to win Deb's new book. I have the first one (and many of her others) in this series and liked it very much.


Edward Arrington said...

I would normally say angel food cake. However, I had cream cheese bread pudding for the first time last Friday. I think that may be my new favorite. Grandaddya [at] Comcast [dot] net

Lanna Webb said...

My favorite dessert ever is my mother's poppy seed cake & warm glaze. Mmmmm mmmm! I get it for my birthday every year or any time I ask! Thank you, God, for mothers!

Lanna Webb said...

My favorite dessert ever is my mother's poppy seed cake & warm glaze. Mmmmm mmmm! I get it for my birthday every year or any time I ask! Thank you, God, for mothers!

Lanna Webb said...

My favorite dessert ever is my mother's poppy seed cake & warm glaze. Mmmmm mmmm! I get it for my birthday every year or any time I ask! Thank you, God, for mothers!

Marian Pellegrin Merritt said...

Hello Everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing. After reading your comments, I'm fighting a HUGE sweet tooth! Karen, we must be kindred southern spirits. Pecan Pie is my favorite, too! And Pam thanks for noticing that dessert was spelled incorrectly. I'm so glad y'all knew what we were asking for. Only so many deserts to talk about. :)

Deb, it's a pleasure to have you here!

sm said...

Chocolate anything!

Brenda Arrington said...

My favorite dessert is sour cream pound cake with cream cheese icing. Thanks for the chance to win this great sounding book.

Brenda Arrington: happygrammaof3(at)comcast(dot)net.

Marian Pellegrin Merritt said...

The Winner of Deb's book is....Edward Arrington! Congratulations, Edward! I'll send an email to Deb with your email address so you can determine how to receive your book.