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review 2014-07-23 03:14
Home to Chicory Lane
Home to Chicory Lane: A Chicory Inn Novel | Book 1 - Deborah Raney

By Deborah Raney

ISBN: 9781426769696
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 8/19/14
Series: A Chicory Inn Novel Book 1
Format: Other
Pages: 320
My Rating: 3 Stars

 

A special thank you to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

 

HOME TO CHICORY LANE (Chicory Inn #1) By Deborah Raney, is a heartwarming novel of home, family dynamics, relationships, and self-discovery.

 

Audrey and her husband have finally raised their five children, and are opening a bed and breakfast in Langhorne, Missouri—renovating their long time family home and converting it to a business for their retirement.

 

However, the bed and breakfast inn business is not as simple as Audrey thought. In addition, she is the one wanting the business and pretty much has forced her husband into the role (they use the retirement money as he has been in the construction business), and the children are not so keen on their family home being occupied by guests.

 

Taking front and center over the B&B business at hand, is the return of their youngest daughter, Laundry. Laundry (a marketing executive) –only being married for six months to her artist husband, Chase residing in New York. There is trouble in paradise and she is returning home for help.

 

When Laundry shows up unannounced with Uhaul on the day of the open house, Audrey’s perfect world and her open house tour is disrupted. Chase and Laundry have not communicated their feelings to one another, as Chase has grown up with really no family, and no role models. Laundry on the other hand is pretty much spoiled, and wants things her way. (She has much in common with her mother, Audrey who seems very controlling and impulsive, not always looking at the big picture)


A starving artist, Chase struggles with doing what he loves; however, at the same time, this family expects him to offer financial security for his family.

 

I am probably not the best judge of this book, since I have been working with B&B and hotel owners for the last 25 years, with their marketing strategy and how to operate a successful inn. I have seen it all, successes and failures. Of course, this book is fiction, so cannot be too critical.

 

Sounds like this couple had no business plan, as no mention of website, property management system, reservation system, marketing plan, competitive analysis, revenue management, etc. There is much more to running a B&B business than laundry and cooking, so was a little unrealistic to have her daughter help with the marketing after the fact (not before).

 

However, besides the inn, the novel offers a nice takeaway and lessons for us all, as sometimes God takes us through rough times and puts people in our lives or path for a season or reason. Our struggles may not make sense at the time, or apparent until a later time, when it becomes clear and all the pieces fit together. God always is much bigger than us.

 

Not a lot of likable warm characters you can connect with on an intimate level, except Chase. Seems everyone was forced into being a certain way and nosing into everyone's business, with no humor. I connected with Chase, as know how important it is to follow your dreams and talent, and sympathized with his character.

 

A light Christian read about family dynamics and relationships. Was hoping for a little more from the B&B (the renovations, challenges, guests, etc.), and less from the daughter and son; however, I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

 

Fans of Sherryl Woods, Debbie Macomber, or Mariah Stewart may enjoy the light read; however, for readers looking for more complex B&B read, would recommend Lin Stepp’s Down By the River, and Donna Ball’s The Hummingbird House and Lady Bug Farm Series.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/993999810
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review 2014-07-18 07:55
The Face of the Earth: A Novel
The Face of the Earth: A Novel - Deborah Raney Title: The Face of the Earth Author: Deborah Raney Pages: 368 Year: 2013 Publisher: Howard Bravo! This story is both captivating and beyond description. It is part mystery, part romance, with faith being the centerpiece and cornerstone to the story. The author writes with a heart of understanding for people who really have lived through tragedies that rock their world forever changing the landscape of normal. Here is a fictional work that gives readers a glimpse of lives changed when a person disappears without a trace, not knowing the answers to questions that arise from the person’s absence every day. Mitchell and Jill are now empty nesters with both children away at college, Jill is a third grade teacher with one school, and Mitchell is a principal. After shedding an abundance of tears because her daughter just left for college, Jill goes to a teachers’ conference to help refocus her life now with only her husband and dog at home. Jill calls letting Mitchell know she is on her way home, but she never shows up. Minutes turn to hours, hours to days and days to months, without much progress made on what happened to Jill or where she could be. The novel shows the possible thoughts and challenges the family goes through when all hope seems lost, especially as Mitchell doesn’t feel free because of lack of closure. Jill’s best friend becomes a support and aid to the whole family throughout this trial. Shelley is like a sister to Jill, a prayer warrior and helping the family wade through the outpouring of meals, cares and phone calls. In time, Shelley finds that now she and Mitchell have developed their own friendship, but can anything else develop? At the end of the novel, the author shares a heart-filled note to the readers about the various themes addressed in the novel. I really became engrossed in the story as I turned each page, watching the characters go through hope-filled leads only to find despair. Personally, I haven’t dealt with anything remotely comparable to the story, but I saw the wisdom of God in the way the author tells the story. Ultimately, having to let go without having all our answers to our multitude of questions is a true test of our hearts and emotions when we don’t see the total picture or ending in sight. Can we release ourselves or our loved ones to God without feeling the pressure to find them? How do we live each day without any closure to the wounds life has brought? I agree with the author that we need to seek the Lord and obey however He moves our hearts. Whether you have experienced someone just disappearing or not, I am sure you will find hope, encouragement and enjoyment in reading The Face of the Earth. My rating is 5+ stars. Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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review 2014-04-27 00:00
A January Bride
A January Bride - Deborah Raney http://www.b00kr3vi3ws.in/2014/05/JanuaryBride.html

I recently read the Silver Linings Series – a series of romance novellas, and though I am not particularly a romance buff, I rather enjoyed the short and sweet novellas. So, when I saw this series up for grabs on netgalley, I decided to give this series a try too.

Madeline Houser is a bestselling author who needs to get some writing done. But with contractors and carpenter having their way in her house, Madeline agrees to set up her temporary office in a Bed and Breakfast run by Arthur and suggested by Ginny a mutual friend. As luck would have it, Arthur has a way with words and who else can appreciate the fact more than an author?

This is a sweet story that was really enjoyable to read. Madeline and Arthur each have a vision of the other being this elderly person. As they exchange notes and start to fall in love, they are hesitant. Yet as it would have, they were both in their mid-thirties and with past heartaches that only further connect them. Both Madeline and Arthur are such loveable characters that it was easy to fall for them and then cheer for them. The major misunderstanding between them was because of what each envisioned the other to be like and frankly it was quite funny to read about it. Even when they finally meet and their misunderstanding cleared, it is clear that they are head over heels for the other yet vary because of their individual experiences in the past. The storyline was refreshing as I am yet to read anything similar. The writing style of the author is simple yet charming.

Reading this book is a couple of hours well spent and I would recommend it to all romance lovers.
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review 2014-04-12 18:18
Romance Review: A January Bride by Deborah Raney
A January Bride - Deborah Raney

Maddie was such a wonderful woman, she chose to move states just to be closer to her mother and help her sister. She's truly a great woman and her life is all about creating fantasy worlds. She's an author, a very succesful one and decided to move because her sister asked her. It's not that simple to create a story and she has a deadline, but the house she was in made things extremely difficult. We can see her having a difficult time to concentrate with strange noises. But her friend and neighbor helped a lot with the offer to find her a place to work.

The inn was perfect and we can see that in the end everything would turn okay for her characters, but the best part for me was Maddie falling in love with the inn's owner. Art was a man suffering, after losing his wife we can clearly see that nothing is keeping him alive and after those letters from Maddie each day demonstrated such a change. Loved Ginny and Maddie. Art was a difficult guy to love, but a good guy too. Super sweet romance.

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review 2014-03-26 12:07
Book Review: A January Bride by Deborah Raney
A January Bride - Deborah Raney

Deborah Raney created a wonderful story for the Year Of Weddings collection! I loved this one to pieces. Ms. Rainey created a heartwarming novella that is filled with tenderness and faith. From start to finish, I was hooked!

 

Maddie and Arthur are truly amazing characters! With an exchange of "notes" between them, they have a fun time getting to know each other. When they finally meet, the sparks click and fly! Watching them fall in love was an exciting time for me! And sweet Ginny! She is a character I won't soon forget!

 

I highly recommend this 4 star novella to all who want a quick, romantic story of finding love, letting go of the past, and trusting in Him to fulfill your hopes and dreams. Ms. Raney's work is unique and I'm definitely glad to add this to my re-read collection! Well done, Ms. Raney!

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