Another Way Home by Deborah Raney — Review

Another Way Home (A Chicory Inn Novel) by Deborah Raney

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Another Way Home is the third Chicory Inn Novel by Deborah Raney. The first, Home to Chicory Lane(See my review here), centered on Chase & Landyn (Whitman) Spencer along with the entire Whitman family. Two Roads Home focused on Landyn’s older sister, Corinne, and her family. Another Way Home follows the middle sister, Danae, & her husband Dallas Brooks. Danae and Dallas are having trouble trying to get pregnant, which seems more and more prevalent in today’s world. Raney handles the relevant subject with a grace and honesty that is refreshing. Fans of Chicory Inn will be ecstatic to see the rest of the Whitman family is still completely involved in the story. I was so happy to dive into this book and catch up with the characters! The Chicory Inn is idyllic. One of my favorite things about this book is the cover. Simply gorgeous, inviting, and relaxing. I love the continuity between all 3 books in this series in terms of cover art. I have to say the novel is a bit more intense than the picturesque cover would suggest. I was completely surprised when the second book in the series took a suspenseful turn, but I kind of expected it with this book. This is a story about marriage, infertility, family, and trust in God. I’m looking forward to the next title in the series and luckily a teaser chapter is included at the end of Another Way Home. Close to Home will feature Bree Whitman, Tim’s widow. I can’t wait to find out more about her story! It’s not too late to visit Chicory Inn. Pick up the first book and join the fun! Highly recommended to fans of Inspirational Fiction, Family Fiction, and books featuring an inn!

Publisher Info:

Sometimes 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.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1NQhjf8

 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 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 Deborah online: website, Twitter, Facebook
From the Litfuse Blog:

Story Behind Another Way Home

Tell us a bit about the story behind your latest novel. Where did you find inspiration?

My writer friend Courtney Walsh planted the idea for the Chicory Inn Novels one evening a few years ago while we sat in a hotel lobby talking late into the night after a conference. I’d told several family stories during our visit, and at one point Courtney said, “Deb, you have so many fun family stories, you really ought to write a book about a big extended family like yours! Or better yet, a series!” That got my wheels turning, and I’ve been excited about the people who live on Chicory Lane ever since!

What was the hardest part about writing your novel: Getting started? Keeping it going? Finding the perfect ending?

For me, it’s always writing the first draft (which I’d classify as “keeping it going” since I usually have fun with the idea, with creating the characters, living in the setting in my head. But that first draft kills me. Once I near the end, I almost always find the perfect ending. Unlike many authors, I love the editing process, too.

What trait do you love most about your main character?

I love the way Danae loves her husband. She’s not perfect, and she sometimes gets too self-absorbed, but she loves Dallas unabashedly, and would do anything for him. She loves her extended family the same way, and she loves that Dallas also loves her family.

When readers get to the last page, what do you hope they take away from the story?

I hope readers will think of difficult situations in their own lives, and realize that God already knows the ending to their story. He already has a plan for redeeming their toughest situation. And He will get them through!

What are you working on next?

I’ve just finished the fourth novel, Close to Home, which will release next spring. And then there is one final novel in the Chicory Inn series—Whitman son Link’s story, Home at Last—and I can’t wait to write it. I’ve already started on the research for an issue that will be key in the story. But it’s still a secret. :) :)

Interesting question posed in Deborah Raney's 'Another Way Home'

Deborah Raney’s Writing Favorites

What are your ideal writing conditions?

Clean house, perfect weather (so I can write out on the deck), great music playing, good coffee in a mug at my side.

If you could write in a different genre, which would you choose?

Believe it or not, I’d probably say suspense! I don’t like too scary books, and I wouldn’t enjoy all the research a suspense novel takes, but I’ve really enjoyed writing my women’s fiction novels that took a more suspenseful turn!

What book have you reread the most?

You know, I’ve only re-read a handful of books in my life! Cold Sassy Tree, my favorite novel of all time is one. And LaVerle Spencer’s Then Came Heaven (which I finished, then turned to the front and began re-reading immediately!)

If you could have lunch with any literary character, who would it be and why?

Oh, probably Cynthia, Father Tim’s wife in Jan Karon’s Mitford novels. I just think we’d be kindred spirits, and Father Tim is a lot like my Ken.

Favorite first line of a book:

I read this one recently and it made me smile. From Lisa Wingate’s The Sea Keeper’s Daughter: Perhaps denial is the mind’sway of protecting the heart from a sucker punch it can’t handle.

Do you have a go-to writing snack?

It’s hard to beat M&Ms—or any chocolate. I love Coffee Nips too! And Gobstoppers (miniature jawbreakers).

What is your favorite writing tool?

I must say I love having my Chicago Manual of Style open beside me. I’ve tried the online version, but there’s just something about having the hardcover book at hand. (And it doesn’t hurt that the new 16th edition’s aqua cover looks great in my office!)

If you were trapped in a book, what fictional place would you like to explore?

What a fun question! Well, I think I’d really love exploring Mitford (Jan Karon has a way of creating a cozy, warm environment.) But maybe I should use this opportunity to travel to Europe and explore some author’s fictional towns there.

What would the title of your biography be?

Better Late than Never. LOL! I’m really a fairly punctual person, but I do tend to experience some of life’s landmarks later than most. I was in my thirties before I’d ever flown in an airplane (I LOVE flying!) I still have never been to Europe… I’ve barely been outside the U.S. except for a brief jaunt into Mexico over the California border, and a couple of ports of call on the one cruise we went on years ago.

If you could live a day in one of your characters’ lives, who would you choose? Explain:

It would definitely be one of my Chicory Lane characters simply because their lives are very much like mine (AND they live near my grandbabies!) I truly love my life and while I do have a bucket list, I couldn’t ask for a better life than the one I’ve already lived!

Favorite quote:

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. —Jim Elliot

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Teaser Tuesdays – I’ll Give You the Sun

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:

Oh, my body’s tightening into a wrung towel from thinking like this.

And all the color’s spiraling off everything.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

This book has been super popular since its release in 2014. Just look at all these awards and honors:

Winner of the 2015 Michael L. Printz Award
Winner of a 2015 Stonewall Honor

A New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2014
A TIME Top Ten Young Adult Book of 2014
Boston Globe Best Young Adult Novel of 2014
Huffington Post Top 12 Young Adult Book of 2014
A 2014 Cybil Award Finalist
A 2015 YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults Book
A 2015 Top Ten Rainbow List Selection
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2014
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2014
A 2014 Booklist Edtior’s Choice Book
A Bustle.com Top 25 Young Adult Novel of 2014

It’s also been chosen as the first book in Amazon’s new YA Book Club! (Check that out here.) Here’s the back cover copy:

The New York Times Bestselling story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

WWW Wednesdays – What are you reading??

W.W.W. Wednesdays is a weekly event brought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.  To play along, answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you are going to read next?

My Answers:

What are you currently reading?

I read several books at a time, so this is kind of a long list!

   

Jesus Calling [Women’s Edition] is my current devotional. Santa Miracles is a Christmas story collection that I’ve been reading for awhile. I just read a few stories at a time. I’m loving the stories and recipes in Bread & Wine! I’m reading & Sons on the recommendation of Joy the Baker, and I’m really enjoying it so far.

What did you recently finish reading?

  

I enjoyed Not That Kind of Girl way more than I expected. I wasn’t really a Lena Dunham fan before, but I am now. Bossypants [Audiobook] was every bit as great as I’d hoped. Tina Fey is infinitely hilarious.

What do you think you are going to read next?

  

 

My favorite author (Melody Carlson) recommended Hotel On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I loved the sample, so I’m eager to read the book. I love the movie Christmas with the Kranks, and Skipping Christmas is the book it’s based on. I’ve always heard David Sedaris is incredible, so I’m excited to try out holidays on ice. Of course, if I can get my hands on Yes Please by Amy Poehler or Us by David Nicholls, those will be thrown in the pile as well!

I’d love to hear what you’re reading! Leave your answers or a link to your post in the comments!

Teaser Tuesdays — Beautiful Ruins

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser for the week comes from Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. I started this book yesterday and am just about through with it. I’ve liked it so far. Walter’s fiction reminds me of Steinbeck with Fitzgerald-like quotable lines. [You can check out what I’m currently reading & add me on Goodreads here.] I’m actually going to share two teasers from this book today!

beautiful ruins

 

“Stories are people. I’m a story, you’re a story…your father is a story. Our stories go in every direction, but sometimes, if we’re lucky, our stories join into one, and for a while, we’re less alone.”

“Some memories remain close; you can shut your eyes and find yourself back in them. These are first-person memories–I memories. But there are second-person memories, too, distant you memories, and these are trickier: you watch yourself in disbelief…”

Here’s the Goodreads synposis:

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks on over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio’s back lot-searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion-along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow.

Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.

Please leave a comment with the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). I’d love to hear what you’re reading!

Teaser Tuesday — Me Before You

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser for the week comes from Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I’m thoroughly enjoying this book. It’s nominated for Best Fiction in Goodreads Best Books of 2013. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald is up for Best Historical Fiction! You can check on what I’m currently reading or add me on Goodreads here.

“But I couldn’t move. The hours had become surreal, an island out of time. I was the only other person in the house, and I was still afraid to leave him.” Chapter 6, Page 85

Here’s the back cover info:

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose.

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life–she comes from a close family, will probably marry her boyfriend, Patrick, and has never been farther afield than the castle that is the prime tourist attraction of her tiny village. But when the local cafe where she works closes, she takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor. Will is wheelchair bound after an accident ended his life as he knew it–big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel–and he is not interested in exploring a new one.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy–yet Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. In turn, Will prods Lou to expand her ambitions, but she has her reasons for wanting things to stay the same as they have always been. When Lou learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. What neither of them knows is that they are going to change each other for all time.

Me Before You is about two people who couldn’t have less in common–a heartbreakingly romantic story that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy means breaking your own heart?

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog).

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

 

Teaser Tuesday – Smitten

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser for the week comes from Smitten by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, & Denise Hunter. These lovely ladies (along with Hannah Alexander) write a blog together called Girls Write Out. I love following them, and I feel like we’re all friends! lol. They are very talented authors. I just finished reading one of Denise’s books, and it was SO GOOD!! Smitten is the first book in a series, so get excited!

 

“He had all the single women in town drooling over him. Except for Natalie, of course. If the other girls knew what she knew about him, they wouldn’t think he was so great.” Chapter 1, Page 7

Here’s the back cover info:

WELCOME TO SMITTEN, VERMONT.

WITH THE HELP OF FOUR FRIENDS, IT’S ABOUT TO BECOME THE MOST ROMANTIC TOWN IN AMERICA.

The proposed closing of the lumber mill comes as unwelcome news for the citizens of Smitten. How will the town survive without its main employer? A close-knit group of women think they’ve got just the plan to save Smitten. They’ll capitalize on its name and turn it into a tourist destination for lovers–complete with sweet shops, a high-end spa, romantic music on the square, and cabins outfitted with fireplaces and hot tubs.

But is this manly town ready for an influx of romantically-minded guests?

Country music sensation Sawyer Smitten, the town’s hometown hero, wants to help by holding his own wedding there on Valentine’s Day. And little Mia’s lavender wreaths hang all over town as a reminder that faith can work miracles. Along the way, the four women spearheading the town’s transformation–energetic Natalie, sophisticated Julia, graceful Shelby, and athletic Reese–get in the spirit by reviving their own love lives.

Join best-selling inspirational romance authors (and real-life BFFs) Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter for an inspiring stay at the (soon-to-be) most romantic town on the eastern seaboard.

One visit…and you’ll be smitten too.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

Teaser Tuesday–A Sweethaven Summer

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser for the week comes from A Sweethaven Summer by Courtney Walsh. I found this book last week while browsing at Mardel, and it reminded me of a favorite series of mine–The Four Lindas by Melody Carlson. The book moved a little slowly at first, but now I’m flying through it! There are 2 more books in the series–A Sweethaven Homecoming & A Sweethaven Christmas. Do I even have to say which one I’m more excited about? 🙂

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“Sitting in that kitchen with Jane’s support and the weight of her secret out in the open, peace began to creep into Lila’s spirit. It inched in, a little at a time, and curled up inside her like a stray kitten at her feet.” Chapter 27, Page 212

Here’s the back cover info:

Campbell Carter has come to Sweethaven in search of answers about her mother’s history.

Just before losing a battle with cancer, Suzanne Carter wrote letters to childhood friends from her hometown of Sweethaven, Michigan. Suzanne’s three friends–Lila, Jane, and Meghan–haven’t spoken in years, yet each has pieces of a scrapbook they made together as girls. The letters have lured them all back to the idyllic lakeside town, where they meet Suzanne’s daughter, Campbell, and begin to remember what was so special about their long Sweethaven summers.

With the help of a handsome local man and her mother’s three friends, Campbell hopes to finally uncover her mother’s twenty-five-year-old secret. In the process, she discovers a family she never knew she had and the home she’s always wanted.

As the women reconnect over the pages of the old scrapbook, wounds are mended, lives are changed, and friendships are restored–just as Suzanne intended.

Courtney Walsh is a freelance writer and author of two craft books, Scrapbooking Your Faith and The Busy Scrapper. She lives in Colorado with her husband and three children. A Sweethaven Summer is her debut novel.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!