In Home to Chicory Lane, Grant and Audrey Whitman have sunk most of their retirement funds into Audrey’s dream of renovating the home built by her grandparents over a hundred years ago. After raising their five children, the empty-nesters have turned the stately Missouri home into an elegant bed-and-breakfast.
What they didn’t count on was that even as their open house is in progress, their children begin returning to the nest.
Each book of the Chicory Inn series will focus on one of Grant and Audrey’s children, but you’ll get to know the whole family, including Huckleberry, the Whitman’s beloved-but-ornery chocolate Lab, in the first novel, and follow them through heartache, romance, trials, and triumphs as the series unfolds.
Empty nesters Audrey and Grant Whitman have raised their five children in a stately home just a mile outside of Langhorne, Missouri. Each book in the Chicory Inn Series will focus on one of their children – the first being Landyn Whitman Spencer, the baby of the family. This heartwarming story begins with the excitement and tension of opening weekend of the Chicory Inn. It was Audrey’s dream of renovating the home built by her grandparents over a hundred years ago into a bed and breakfast. Her husband Grant, now retired, had been a bit averse to sinking most of his retirement into the project, but did so without grumbling much… because after all….Audrey had grown up in this house…and he lovingly gave Audrey her way.
The Inn was completely filled by reservations and Audrey was having opening day jitters. It did not help that Corrine arrived toting fussy baby Simone. Simone was teething, and Corrine did not want daddy Jesse to deal with that. Corrine cut in that her dad could watch Simone if need be. Her excuse was irritating to Audrey and she pushed down her resentment, even when Simone wiped her nose on Audrey’s apple green jacket and Corrine laughed saying “Well, at least it matches. “ Corrine then dabbed Simone’s nose with a tissue which made her screech like a banshee – causing the dog Huckleberry to come running and barking. Deborah Raney’s prose is transparent and humorous initiating my attention to be held captive from the first page.
Little do Audrey and Grant suspect their stress level has only begun. Daughter Landyn Whitman Chase is pulling a U-Haul trailer from New York City arriving home at an ill-timed moment with no explanation. She does have valid reason – to herself anyway – as to why she has come home. Landyn and Chase have been married a mere six months and Chase made a rash decision – without discussing it with her – no less. He had let their apartment on the Upper West Side be sublet, rented a fleabag studio apartment in Brooklyn because God was leading him in this way to further his art career. This made no sense to Landyn…she had much to think about – including a bit of information she was withholding from Chase. I had better stop right here and let you read the story for yourself.
Deborah Raney’s plot was well rounded with heartaches to joys. I could identify easily with Audrey as a mother. As I read through the book I could relate to each side of conflicts. If you are ready to laugh and cry, then read this lovely story about family life based on Godly principles. Ms. Raney writes realistic drama with deep feeling and wisdom. This is the first book by Deborah Raney I have read…and it will not be the last. I don’t want to hurry a great writer….she needs time to develop her stories with aplomb and eloquence. I will be patient and wait…keeping my ears and eyes open for the next novel about the Whitman family. Who will be in trouble next?
“I received this book from Litfuse for free in exchange for an honest review.”
INTERESTING NOTES FROM THE AUTHOR…….
I’ve always been a very visual writer, referring to photographs of my characters and setting. Below are some of the images that inspired me as I wrote the Chicory Inn novels. The first two books are finished and with my editor. And I’m having a blast as I work on the third book, making notes fast and furious for the final two books in the series as I go.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR………
DEBORAH RANEY dreamed of writing a book since the summer she read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books and discovered that a Kansas farm girl could, indeed, grow up to be a writer. Her more than 25 books have garnered multiple industry awards including the RITA Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers’ Choice Award, Carol Award, Silver Angel from Excellence in Media, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, shed light on the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. The novel inspired the highly acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title and continues to be a tool for Alzheimer’s families and caregivers. Deborah is on faculty for several national writers’ conferences and serves on the executive board of the 2700-member American Christian Fiction Writers organization. She 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 have four children and five precious grandchildren who all live much too far away.
Deborah Raney is probably best known for her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, which was the inspiration for the award-winning film of the same title from World Wide Pictures. Her Hanover Falls Novels series and Clayburn Novels series are published by Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. Her newest series, The Chicory Inn Novels, will release from Abingdon Press beginning August 2014. Deb has written more than 25 novels and is thoroughly enjoying her career as a writer. However, her first and most cherished calling is wife to Ken, her husband of almost 40 years, and mother to their four children. Ken and Deb love small-town life in Kansas and being “Papa and Mimi” to five precious grandchildren who all live much too far away.
Visit Deb on the Web at www.deborahraney.com
Doesn’t her book sound marvelous?! It really is. I enjoyed this book even more when I realized that Deborah and I both hail from the same home state of Kansas, went to the same college…different eras of course….and are both pure sunflowers in our hearts. It has indeed been a pleasure to know her and give a review on this book. So, tune in again….a bit sooner than it has been lately….and may your life be blessed.