la·gniappe (lnyp, ln-yp) n.
Chiefly Southern Louisiana & Mississippi
1. A small gift presented by a storeowner to a customer with the customer's purchase.
2. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit.
I hope these entries give you a little something extra with posts about this southern gal living in the north, about writing, author interviews, new releases, and occasional photos from my photography sojourns.
Thanks for reading!
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
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,
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?
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
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, 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 www.deborahraney.com.