Novelist and Children's Author

Featured Book: Home to Chicory Lane

Posted by on Sep 4, 2014 in Faith, Fiction | 21 comments

And the winner of Karen O’Connor’s book, Lord, How Did I Get This Old So Soon? is:

Jackie McNutt

Congratulations, Jackie!

And now, our featured book . . .

From the back cover:

Welcome to Chicory Inn . . . where family is (almost) always welcome!

Now that their five kids are out of the house, Audrey and Grant Whitman have spent most of their retirement funds turning their beloved family home into Chicory Inn, a fifty-five hundred square-foot bed and breakfast near the charming town of Langhorne, Missouri.

With opening weekend upon them, the inn is full of love and best wishes from friends and family. What could go wrong? That is exactly what Audrey wonders—until she sees her newly wed youngest daughter, Landyn, arrive from New York, pulling a trailer behind her, and no husband in tow.

Suddenly, the inn is bigger job than either Grant or Audrey anticipated. What happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where is Landyn’s husband, Chase? And can Chicory Inn survive all this excitement?


An interview with author Deborah Raney:



Hi, Deb. Tell us how you got the idea for Home to Chicory Lane.

I was yakking with my friend Courtney Walsh at a conference. Throughout our evening, I’d told several family stories, and at one point she said, “Deb, you have so many fun family stories, you ought to write a book about a big extended family like yours! Or a series!” That got my wheels turning, and I’ve been excited about Chicory Lane ever since!


Brainstorming with writing friends is one of my favorite things to do! What’s your favorite scene in in the book?

I loved writing the scenes set in Bed-Stuy in New York. Ken and I lived in the city as newlyweds, so it brought back a lot of great memories! (We were just as broke and dumb as Chase and Landyn then, too!) The scene where Landyn first goes to see Chase in New York is one of my favorite. Even though she’s still has so much growing up to do, it’s clear she loves her husband and wants so badly to make things work with him.


Oh, I loved that scene. Yes, my husband and I were broke as newlyweds too. We have a lot of great “cheap date” memories. I see from your website that you’re having a Facebook author chat party on September 9th. Tell us more about that.

I love the Facebook parties that Litfuse throws! Anyone on Facebook is welcome to join, and you can find out more about participating—and about how to enter to win a great B&B weekend giveaway—here:




Who wouldn’t want a chance to win a B&B weekend? Sounds heavenly! Are you anything like Audrey Whitman, your main character? If you could cast her in a movie, whom would you choose?

I don’t think I’d have the energy to actually run a B&B, but in many other ways, I’m a lot like Audrey. Certainly in the way she cares so deeply for her grown kids and grandkids. And in the way she adores Grant and cherishes their marriage. Sadly, like Audrey, I’m also a little impatient at times, and a little selfish sometimes. I think Victoria Tennant (without the British accent) would be lovely to play Audrey.


Describe Grant Whitman, Audrey’s husband. What actor would you hire to play him?

All my heroes are my hubby! 🙂 But since Ken is not an actor, I’d definitely choose Ed Harris to stand in for him. 🙂 Like Ken, Grant is easy-going, conscientious, hard-working, and most of all, he can make me…er, Audrey, laugh like no one else. That’s my favorite quality of Ken’s, too. He just makes me smile all the time.

Grant & Audrey


The story is also told in Landyn and Chase’s point of view. Tell us a little about them.

Landyn and Chase are both typical young newlyweds. Good-hearted, and sincere, but a little on the selfish side, not quite understanding that marriage is hard work, and that putting your mate above yourself is one secret to making a relationship a treasure. But they’re getting there, and I hope readers will see themselves not-so-long-ago in Landyn and Chase and realize the hope there is for them.




How many hours a week do you write? Do you have a regular routine?

My routine varies depending on what stage of my deadline I’m at. When it gets down to the wire, I clear my calendar and hole up in my office and write 6-8 hours or more a day. When I’m just getting started on a book, I might spend more hours on research and character development than I do on actually getting words on the page. It probably averages out to 3-4 hours of serious writing a day, and an equal number of hours spent on research, promotion (including interviews like this one), and on reading to learn—both books on the craft of writing, and novels that I wish I’d written.


What do you like to do for fun?

We still enjoy planting and tending the flowers in our yard, but since moving to the “big” city of Wichita, we’ve also enjoyed the “culture” a larger town has to offer—farmer’s markets, art shows, museums, and coffee shops! Every Friday morning, Ken and I try out a new one. We’ve also discovered the delight of garage sale-ing! Not only has it been a great way to get to know our city, but we’ve found some real treasures during our early Thursday morning jaunts.


I enjoy seeing the photos of your Friday morning coffee dates on Facebook. Thank you so much for visiting with us today.


Deborah is offering a copy of Home to Chicory Lane to one of you. Please answer this question in the comment box along with your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you’re the winner.



If money were no object and you could live anywhere in the world (and travel to visit loved ones as needed) where would you choose to live?


About the author:

Deborah 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 Deb’s novels—for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita.


If you’d like to know more about Deborah or her books, go to her website at:


Next up: Allison Flexer, author of Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman, guest posts.



Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Allison K. Flexer

    I would choose to live in a small village in Italy…I spent 2 weeks in the Cinque Terre region back in 2007 and loved it! Sherry, thanks for hosting me next for the blog tour!!

    • Sherry Kyle

      Italy is on my bucket list to visit someday. Hey, if you live there, invite me over. We’d have some fun, wouldn’t we? Allison, I can’t wait to read your guest post on my blog. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Sherry Kyle

    Did everyone catch Deborah Raney’s Facebook party today? I did! So fun. And guess what? I won a Starbucks gift card for posting a picture of myself holding Deborah’s book. Hey, I’ll do anything (almost) for a Starbucks card. I hope everyone buys a copy of Home to Chicory Lane. If you’ve never read a book by Deborah Raney, you’re in for a real treat. You can purchase the book here:

    And I’ll announce the winner on Thursday. Tell your friends! The more the merrier.


  3. Pam K.

    If I had enough money to live anywhere in the world, I’d still choose to live here in central Kansas. That’s where most of my family is. I’ve lived in 3 other states and 1 other country. I’m content now to be home. Though this is where I want to live, it might be nice to have the extra money to do some traveling. I’d love to go on one of Liz Curtis Higgs’ tours of Scotland.

  4. Jeannie Holderfield

    I am so torn! I love Virginia but i think i would like the coast, something about the water calls me andif money was no object I’d have a fabulous beach house!

  5. Cathy Latta

    Since we are just settling in our new home in Wichita I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. We are close to kids in Hesston and Derby. But traveling anywhere we want would be great! My favorite places I have traveled are New York. Cape Cod and Myrtle Beach.

  6. Annette Emmert

    I have always said that Alaska is my dream. I love the snow! To be able to experience that natural beauty of God’s world and see the northern lights first hand is my dream.

    • Deborah Raney

      I don’t know if I could take that much snow, Annette. I love a white Christmas and a late winter snow, but I’m too big of a spring and fall fan to go for Alaska. My hubby would love to take an Alaskan cruise sometime though.

  7. Doris Reedy

    I love the mountains of S.W Va where I live now! I have always wanted to travel, but would want to return home to the beautiful mountains of Virginia.

  8. LaDonna

    I love our country and I truly like living where I am. Maybe a place with a little pond to sit beside to read.

  9. nat

    Right here and now…I guess, I am happy where I am in MN, but I’d take the travel to family anytime…since our #3 son is in the USAF & will be overseas the next 4 years with his wife & 1 1/2 yr old first grandbaby/son.

  10. Rita

    Great interview!

    Our favorite vacation spot is Maui. I would love to live there.

  11. Laura Bennet

    Well, I hope it will turn out to be Florida since that’s where I’m heading. But I seriously love Burleigh Head in Australia, and Brendan and I frequently talk of having a house there. Second in line for part of the year living would be Thun, Switzerland – at least in the summer. I don’t do snow 🙂