Friday, September 5, 2014

Home To Chicory Lane: Book One of Chicory Inn Series By Deborah Raney

 I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:  

Audrey Whitman's dreams are coming true. Now that their five kids are grown, she and her husband Grant are turning their beloved family home into a cozy bed and breakfast, just a mile outside of Langhorne, Missouri. Opening weekend makes Audrey anxious, with family and friends coming from all over to help celebrate the occasion. But when Audrey's daughter, Landyn, arrives, the U-Haul she's pulling makes it clear she's not just here for a few days. Audrey immediately has questions. What happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where was Landyn's husband, Chase? And what else was her daughter not telling her? One thing was for sure, the Chicory Inn was off to a rocky start. Can Audrey still realize her dream and at the same time provide the comfort of home her daughter so desperately needs?


My Thoughts: 

Home To Chicory Lane is the first book in Deborah Raney's newest series, The Chicory Inn and I really enjoyed it. As a fan of Deborah Raney I was excited to have the opportunity to read this latest series. It has been a while since I have read Deborah Raney so it was refreshing to have this opportunity.  Audrey Whitman has always dreamed of running a bed and breakfast out of their family home and now with all of they children grown and on their own, Audrey and Grant Whittman put their all into The Chicory Inn, a mile outside of Langhorne,Missouri.  The Whittman's have an open house for opening weekend, enlisting help from some of their children. Their youngest Landyn makes a surprise visit from New York hauling a U-Haul truck behind her. When Audrey and Grant finally get to talk to Landyn they find out she has left her husband Chase after he subleased their apartment, moved them into a studio apartment for his art, and he quit his job to be an artist full time. This move would force Landyn to have to quit her job to find something closer.  As The Whittman Family circle around Landyn trying to help her make decisions, her husband realizes he needs to be Landyn. 

Home to Chicory Lane is a great book. I am a huge fan of Deborah Raney and I am so excited that she has a new series out! My dream has been to own a bed and breakfast or resort since I was in high school so this book really spoke to me about having those dreams and making them come true, having the faith to believe this is where God is leading you and trust His calling. So much of this book is about that faith and God's leading and what happens when you listen to that calling. Deborah Raney writes with authority about Missouri, New York, the Art world, marketing,and  running a B&B.
I really enjoyed meeting the Whittman family, Grant and Audrey, their 5 children, their son in laws, and their grandchildren, oh and Grants Mom CeeCee (there is a story there I hope to read).  This book was mainly about Audrey and Grant and Landyn and Chase but it was great to get to learn about the others in the family and the dynamics within their family, which I can't wait to learn more. I found it hard to put this book down once I got into it, wanting to know what would happen with Landyn and Chase. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Contemporary Christian Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I absolutely look forward to the next book in this series (there's a few  pages of the new book in this one). I give this book 5 STARS

The first book in Deborah Raney's new Chicory Inn series, Home to Chicory Lane, introduces us to Audrey Whitman, a mother who has launched all her children into life and now looks forward to fulfilling some of her own dreams during her empty-nest years. However, not all of her children are ready to stay out of the nest quite yet.

Deborah is celebrating the release of her new series with a $200 B&B Weekend Getaway and a Facebook author chat party.

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  One winner will receive:
  • A B&B Weekend Getaway (via a $200 Visa cash card)
  • Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 9th. Winner will be announced at the Home to Chicory Lane Author Chat Party on 9/9. Deborah will be hosting a heartfelt book chat, giving away prizes, and answering questions from readers. She will also share an exclusive sneak peek at the next book in the Chicory Inn series!

So grab your copy of Home to Chicory Lane and join Deborah on the evening of September 9th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 9th!

Making Marion: Where's Robin Hood When You Need Him? By Beth Moran

I received this book from Kregel Publications for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:  

She had been looking for somewhere to stay, but instead Marion Miller finds herself on the wrong side of the reception desk at the Peace and Pigs campground and, despite her horrible shyness, promptly lands herself a job.
Marion came to Nottinghamshire--home of Sherwood Forest--to discover her father's mysterious past, but all she has to go on is a picture of her father dressed up, it would seem, as Robin Hood. 
Life on a busy campground challenges Marion's formerly controlled life--the pigs roam free, the resident chickens seem determined to thwart her, and an unfortunate incident with a runaway bike throws her into the arms of the beautiful, but deeply unimpressed, Reuben.
Yet, Marion's would-be boyfriend Jake, and Reuben's stunning fiancée Erica, conspire to leave little room for Marion to daydream about the twinkling eyes of her rescuer . . . Will Marion ever find peace, and perhaps even love, among the pigs?
Including a large cast of memorable, colorful characters, Making Marion is an outstanding debut romantic comedy that touches on issues of identity and family with a natural ease.


My Thoughts:  

Making Marion is Beth Moran's debut book and it is fantastic. I was immediately drawn to this book from the covers, front and back. I loved the front cover illustrations and when I go to the book description I was hooked.As my readers know, I love debut authors and their books. I am so drawn to the stories and finding new authors so Making Marion was right up my alley.  Marion Miller leaves her abusive home in Ireland and finds herself in Nottinghamshire looking for answers to her father's life, hoping to find something she is looking for. She finds herself at the Peace and Pigs Campground to find a place to stay, and a case of mistaken identity lands her a job. Even after clearing up the mistake her "boss" Scarlett, Marion finds herself with a job, a place to live, and an interesting cast of character that are her co workers and neighbors. Marion has a picture of her father from his teen years dressed as Robin Hood in the Nottinghamshire Robin Hood Festival in Sherwood Forest. As Marion starts asking questions about her father, she is met with a lot of resistance and threats to leave well alone. With the help of her coworkers, now her family they try to find out all they can. As Marion comes out of her shell of shyness and embraces this new life she finds out what it is to be happy.

Beth Moran has written a fantastic debut book. I loved this book from cover to cover, and everything in between. I enjoyed the setting of this book, Nottinghamshire, Sherwood Forest, England. I learned many new words from England and I loved that! I have also always been taken by the story of Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest since seeing Robin Hood (Disney Version) as a child, so this story really spoke to me.  Beth Moran wrote with authority about Nottinghamshire,England, history and lore of Robin Hood, Ireland, and living and working at a campground. Beth Moran has written a wonderful cast of characters that really made this story so much fun. I really enjoyed all of the characters especially Scarlett, Marion's "boss", mother figure for a few of the characters,. Her look at life and her lessons on life are fantastic. I found myself laughing in parts of this book and crying in others. As funny as this book can be, there are some deep issues dealt with throughout this story that really bring it together! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction, you will enjoy it. I cannot wait to read more from Beth Moran, I now have another must read author on my list. I give this book 5 STARS.