Tag Archives: Deborah Raney

If You Liked A Time to Stand . . .

30 Nov

If you liked BTB’s November 2017 selection, A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow, check out these books!

The Color of Justice by Ace Collins.

Two racially charged cases. Two attorneys searching for the truth. But only one will stay alive long enough to find it. 

1964

Justice, Mississippi, is a town divided. White and black. Rich and poor. Rule makers and rule breakers. Right or wrong, everyone assumes their place behind a fragile façade that is about to crumble.  When attorney Coop Lindsay agrees to defend a black man accused of murdering a white teenager, the bribes and death threats don’t intimidate him. As he prepares for the case of a lifetime, the young lawyer knows it’s the verdict that poses the real threat—innocent or guilty, because of his stand Coop is no longer welcome in Justice. As he follows his conscience, he wonders just how far some people will go to make sure he doesn’t finish his job?

2014

To some, the result of the trial still feels like a fresh wound even fifty years later, when Coop’s grandson arrives in Justice seeking answers to the questions unresolved by the trial that changed his family’s legacy. When a new case is presented, again pitting white against black, this third generation Lindsay may have the opportunity he needs to right the wrongs of the past. 

But hate destroys everything it touches, and the Lindsay family will not escape unscathed.

Home at Last by Deborah Raney.

Why did their differences matter so much?

Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to. Now he’s stuck in a dead-end job and, as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing. The pressure from his sisters’ efforts to play matchmaker is getting hard to bear as Link pulls extra shifts at work, and helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.

All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother’s white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn’t repeat in polite — well, in any company. Her father’s family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry’s incarceration, life has left Shayla’s father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn’t people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts?
Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with the little girl’s aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee’s On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society’s view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?

Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse. (BTB’s February 2018 Selection)

There was another South in the 1960s, one far removed from the marches and bombings and turmoil in the streets that were broadcast on the evening news. It was a place of inner turmoil, where ordinary people struggled to right themselves on a social landscape that was dramatically shifting beneath their feet. This is the world of Valerie Fraser Luesse’s stunning debut, Missing Isaac.

It is 1965 when black field hand Isaac Reynolds goes missing from the tiny, unassuming town of Glory, Alabama. The townspeople’s reactions range from concern to indifference, but one boy will stop at nothing to find out what happened to his unlikely friend. White, wealthy, and fatherless, young Pete McLean has nothing to gain and everything to lose in his relentless search for Isaac. In the process, he will discover much more than he bargained for. Before it’s all over, Pete–and the people he loves most — will have to blur the hard lines of race, class, and religion. And what they discover about themselves may change some of them forever.

No Greater Love by Kathi Macias.

Forbidden romance, an unlikely martyr, and an even more unlikely hero. Orphaned four years earlier when their parents, active in the African National Congress ANC movement against Apartheid, were murdered, 16-year-old Chioma and her 15-year-old brother Masozi now live and work on an Afrikaner family’s farm. When Chioma and Andrew, the farm owner’s son, find themselves attracted to one another, tragedy revisits their lives. Chioma escapes to join an ANC rebel band in her effort to survive and gain revenge for her family and culture. When cultures clash in life-or-death struggles, Chioma must choose between violence and revenge or forgiveness and selfless love. Loosely based on historical events and set near Pretoria, South Africa, in the violent upheaval prior to ANC leader Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990 and his ascendance to the presidency of South Africa, this story of forbidden romance produces an unlikely martyr who is replaced by one even more unlikely.

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Top 10 Tuesday — Thankfulness Edition

21 Nov

I have been a nag, bully, proponent of Christian fiction for some time now. Not only can you be sure of a clean read, but you get a book that encourages, enlightens, or just plain entertains. It’s no surprise — God is the master storyteller! And when you have an author who wants to bring glory to Him, then you are sure to have a winner. So when the folks at The Broke And The Bookish set this week’s theme as Books I Am Thankful For, I knew I would have a hard time sticking to just 10. I decided to pick the books I have read in 2017 that made me think, taught me something, or were a joy to read. I kept the list to an even dozen. To find out what books other bloggers are thankful for, click HERE.

A Dozen Books I Am Thankful For

A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

Ghost Heart by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

Home at Last by Deborah Raney

How Sweet The Sound by Amy Sorrells

The Long Highway Home by Elizabeth Musser

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner

A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow

True to You by Becky Wade

Why The Sky Is Blue by Susan Meissner

Yankee in Atlanta by Jocelyn Green

 

Book Review: Home at Last

9 Mar

Why did their differences matter so much?

Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to. Now he’s stuck in a dead-end job and, as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing. The pressure from his sisters’ efforts to play matchmaker is getting hard to bear as Link pulls extra shifts at work, and helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.

All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother’s white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn’t repeat in polite — well, in any company. Her father’s family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry’s incarceration, life has left Shayla’s father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn’t people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts?
Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with the little girl’s aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee’s On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society’s view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?

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 30 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 three times 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 often travel to teach at writers conferences across the country, and to visit their four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deb on the Web at http://www.deborahraney.com.

 

My Impressions:

Deborah Raney creates highly readable family dramas that are not afraid to tackle tough issues. Her Chicory Inn series has looked at infertility and infidelity, among other things. In the fifth and final book in the series, Home at Last, racism is explored in an honest manner. Home at Last made me think and re-think the issues surrounding race relations and my own expectations and attitudes. A great ending for a great series.

Link Whitman, the only surviving son in the Whitman clan, is the focus of Home at Last. At twenty-nine his life has settled into a routine, and he is wondering if he settling for a life that is somehow less. Shayla Michaels is struggling to raise her niece and help run her father’s business and doesn’t have time for superficial flirtations. But there seems to be something different about Link. Obstacles abound in their new-found love, not the least are objections from family and differences in how they view the world.

First and foremost, Home at Last is a well-written story that makes the reader care about its likable characters. Main characters Link and Shayla have a lot going for them and a lot going against them. Raney doesn’t sugar-coat the real problems that face biracial couples. This reader’s eyes were certainly opened. Faith is naturally woven throughout the novel with characters struggling to keep believing in the face of hardships that pile up. I loved the support that Link provided Shayla and the way they faced the future with realistic expectations, but with a big dose of hope.

You don’t have to read the other books in the Chicory Inn series to enjoy Home at Last. But I would suggest you start at the beginning. You won’t want to miss this excellent series. And with this one being the last, you can binge read without  having to wait for the next installment!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Litfuse and Abingdon for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — What’s Up Next in The TBR Pile

28 Feb

The folks at the Broke And The Bookish are taking a short and well-deserved break this week. Six years of hosting this great meme! Our hats are off to you! So that means bloggers are coming up with their own topics. I’m taking the easy way out and sharing what I will be reading in the coming weeks. Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you think.

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Top 10 Books in The TBR Pile

By Cat or By Crook by Patricia Fry

Doctor’s Dilemma by Richard Mabry

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller

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Exit Katrina by Chris Link

A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

Home at Last by Deborah Raney

A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd

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Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith

A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner

When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin

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What book is next up for you?

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Looking Forward to 2017!

13 Dec

I can hardly believe 2016 will soon be ending. I have had a great year of reading! But now it is time to look forward to the hot new books to be released in early 2017. To find out what books other bloggers are looking forward to, visit The Broke And The Bookish.

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I only made it to March releases before finding my top 10 of early 2017! So many great books that will soon grace my shelves. Many are the next book in favorite series, so those are very much anticipated. I have a good mix of historical and contemporary, with plenty of suspense and a bit of romance. All are from favorite authors who never cease to satisfy. So without further ado, drumroll please . . .

Top 10 Anticipated Books of Early 2017

Home at Last by Deborah Raney

The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

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Maybe It’s You by Candace Calvert

Moving Target by Lynette Eason

The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith

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Still Life by Dani Pettrey

A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah Ladd

When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin

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What books are you looking forward to?

 

Book Review: Another Way Home

16 Nov

Another-Road-Home-252x384Sometimes God’s ways are not at all what we expect . . . and exactly what we need.
Grant and Audrey are adding grandchildren to their family left and right, but middle daughter, Danae, and her husband, Dallas Brooks, have been trying for years with no baby in sight.

Though Danae is ready to consider adoption, Dallas will not even discuss it. Despairing of ever having a family of her own, Danae decides to pour her passion and energies into volunteer work with a newly opened women’s shelter in town. Looking for a good cause to fill her lonely days, she never expects to give her heart to the hurting women she meets there. She’s finally learning to live her life with gratitude, but then heart-wrenching events on Thanksgiving weekend threaten to pull the entire Whitman clan into turmoil—and leave them all forever changed.

DRaney-254Deborah Raney’s books have won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas — the setting of many of Deborah’s novels — for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies, and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away.

Find out more about Deborah at http://deborahraney.com.

 

My Impressions:

A recent commenter on a FB page stated they were tired of reading books that were only about the chase — romances focused on the action leading up to happily-ever-after. She wanted to know were there any books featuring the rest of the story — doing life together. If you are like that commentator, someone who wants real life stories featuring couples facing life’s struggles and doing it God’s way, then be sure to check out Deborah Raney’s latest book in her Chicory Inn series, Another Way Home. This touching novel is a recommended read.

Danae and Dallas Brooks want children, but their quest is just not working out for them. It seems like everyone is having babies but them. As Danae faces frustrating and discouraging fertility treatments and Dallas buries the hurt from his own adoption story, they see their marriage deteriorating from stress. When God seems to be saying no, they face the task of remaining faithful and grateful.

Another Way Home again features the Whitman family — a large, close-knit and multi-generational family. This time the Whitman’s second daughter and husband are the focus of a story that is relevant for so many families today. Infertility is pain-filled, and no matter how supportive friends and family are, it is an incredibly lonely journey. Raney creates real and relatable characters in Danae and Dallas. She feels inadequate and empty; he worries he is not enough for her. Added to the infertility, is Dallas’ deeply buried scars from the rejection of his birth mother. But as Danae seeks to live a life marked with more gratitude than petitions (p 105), the Brooks marriage changes and strengthens. Danae realizes that God seemed to be assigning her exercises in generosity in an effort to teach her an attitude of gratitude (p 106). In a process that often is centered on the end results, Raney’s message is the gift of children. I loved that. There are lots of twists, turns and emotional highs and lows in Dallas and Danae’s story, but God proves Himself ever faithful. You are going to love the scene when Danae discovers the timing of God’s answer to her prayers.

Another Way Home is a wonderful book. I laughed and cried along with Danae and Dallas. And when the last page was turned, I was extremely satisfied. This one is another winner from Raney. I can’t wait for more from the Whitman family.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to LitFuse and Abingdon for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: Two Roads Home

23 Jun

Two-Roads-Home-252x384What 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?

 

DRaney-254Deborah Raney’s books have won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas—the setting of many of Deborah’s novels—for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies, and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deborah on the web at DeborahRaney.com.

 

My Impressions:

No one does real life like Deborah Raney! Filled with real and relatable characters and real-life experiences, her novels are always sure to hit the right note. Two Roads Home, book 2 in the Chicory Inn series, is no exception. For an honest read that blends God’s truth and grace, look no further.

Audrey Whitman may be an empty nester embarking on a new career as innkeeper, but she still frets over her brood of 4 grown children. In Two Roads Home, oldest daughter Corrine is facing threats to her marriage both from the inside and the outside. Her husband Jesse is accused of harassment at work and wants a change. But the dream he pursues may sideline Corrine’s own dreams.

Raney does a good job of portraying a real marriage in Two Roads Home. Corrine and Jesse let petty disputes and sparse communication undermine an otherwise good marriage. They have been operating on two different agendas for awhile and it has taken away from true intimacy in their marriage. Add into the mix a manipulative other woman and you get a recipe for disaster. But Raney uses prayer, God’s word and teamwork to bring them back together. Characters’ emotions and actions ring true in this novel as do the issues explored. Questions of priorities, contentment and marital fidelity make this one great for a book club!

While Two Roads Home could be read as a standalone novel, I would recommend beginning with book 1, Home to Chicory Lane.  And I am definitely looking forward to more from the Whitman family!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

Great for Book Clubs.

To purchase this book, click HERE

(Thanks to LitFuse and Abingdon Press for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)