Friday, May 7, 2010

My Friend Deborah - Interview & Giveaway

Today I'm super-excited to welcome Deb Raney to the blog to chat about her latest book, Almost Forever, first in a new series. Hope everyone enjoys getting to know her!

As usual, leave your comments below with how I can reach you for a chance to win a copy!


About Deb

DEBORAH RANEY dreamed of writing a book since the summer she read all of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books and discovered that a little Kansas farm girl could, indeed, grow up to be a writer. After a happy twenty-year detour as a stay-at-home wife and mom, Deb began her writing career. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, was awarded a Silver Angel from Excellence in Media and inspired the acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Since then, her books have won the RITA Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Readers’ Choice Award, as well as being a two-time Christy Award finalist. Deb enjoys speaking and teaching at writers’ conferences across the country. She and her husband, artist Ken Raney, make their home in their native Kansas and love the small-town life that is the setting for many of Deb’s novels. The Raneys enjoy gardening, antiquing, art museums, movies, and traveling to visit four grown children and small grandchildren who live much too far away.

Deborah loves hearing from her readers. To e-mail her or to learn more about her books, please visit


About Almost Forever

Almost Forever, first in the new Hanover Falls series from
award winning, best-selling author Deborah Raney.
After five heroic firefighters die in a horrific fire, their spouses band together
to cope with the tragedy and try to make sense of their lives––
while unraveling the mystery surrounding the deadly fire.

Bryn Hennesey harbors a terrible secret. Her husband was only on duty the night of the fire because of her deceit—and he died in the line of duty. Now she’s paying a terrible price.

Garrett Edmonds has no shoulder to cry on, no one who really understands. His wife was the only female firefighter to perish in the blaze. His conscience tells him that he was supposed to protect the woman he loved, but instead she’s the one who died a hero.

Inevitably, Bryn and Garrett find themselves drawn together—and the relationship becomes more than just friendship. But Bryn’s secrets may be powerful enough to drive them apart: She may have, herself, been responsible for the fire that killed their spouses.


What's your latest book?

Almost Forever is the first in my new Hanover Falls. The book releases in May 2010 from Howard/Simon & Schuster.

I can't wait to read it, knowing how great your previous books are!! What was the hardest part to write?

The scenes set at the location of the fire and in the firehouse required the most research because that is a world I was not familiar with. Fortunately my niece is married to a second-generation firefighter. They were able to help me so much with the details and research material that gave it a more authentic flavor.

Hey, now that's handy! Family's so helpful. =) What's your favorite genre to write? To read?

With a couple of exceptions, I’ve always written women’s fiction. I love writing character-driven stories that deal with various social and human interest issues. One of the most fun books I ever wrote though, was Playing by Heart, which I term a romantic comedy. I’m not a funny person, but that book just came out funny. I was as surprised as the next guy at the lines that came out of my characters’ mouths.

As for reading, I have pretty eclectic tastes. Women’s fiction is probably always my first choice in reading, too, but I also love legal novels (nothing too scary!), mysteries, historical novels, even science fiction and fantasy occasionally.

What are you reading right now—and what are your favorite recent reads?

I read so much non-fiction for research that I almost always choose fiction for pleasure reading. Recent favorite reads have been Randy Singer’s By Reason of Insanity, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and Rooms by Jim Rubart.

I've heard great things about all those. What would your dream office look like—and what does your REAL writing environment look like?

I wrote my first novel at the kitchen table (our ONLY table at the time, so I had to move everything off the table twice a day!) The next few were written at a makeshift desk in the corner of our bedroom, and later our living room. But when we moved to our current home almost five years ago, I got my dream office. I wouldn’t mind adding a wall of bookshelves to it someday, but it serves me very well and I feel very blessed to have such a great place to write. My desk gets a little messy when I’m in the middle of a project or on deadline, but I tend to be a neatnik so usually my office is tidy if not clean. Here's a picture.

Jealous! *grins* Is there any one thing or reference you keep handy when writing? Anything you kept around for this particular book?

My nephew-in-law loaned me all his firefighter training manuals and they were an invaluable reference for all three books. Even though most of the book revolves around the relationships of the surviving spouses of my firefighters, for key scenes I needed specific information on the firefighting world, and these were great books to have!

I imagine so! Are there any people (family, writing group, editors) who you rely on when writing?

Oh, my goodness! There are so many people! My writing critique partner, Tammy Alexander, is wonderful and tough on me. My editors are invaluable. I often say they should share the byline on my books’ covers. My supportive husband gets huge credit. My kids are my sounding board because many times I’m writing heroes and heroines who are closer to their ages than mine! My sisters and close friends are great encouragers. I have a brainstorming group I meet with every January here in Kansas, and they are fabulous. I could go on and on. No book is written in a vacuum and I could not do what I do if I had to do it alone!

Wow, that sounds like one of the legendary "power" crit groups! You and Tamera Alexander?? Sigh. ;-) If someone were to give you $5,000 to spend on anything you wanted, what would you buy? (No saving or gifts to charity allowed!)

What a fun question! And I’m sure glad you put those stipulations on it. My dad gave each of his daughters a nice sum of money on a shopping trip once and his only stipulation was that we had to spend it on ourselves. I think he knew that we would all feel a little guilty doing that unless it was his specific wish. To answer your question, the first thing I’d do is buy a new Mac laptop with the 7-hour battery life! The rest would pay for a trip to Europe. It’s been a dream of mine for many years to spend an extended time in Europe visiting the English village where my maternal great grandparents hailed from, and writing a book set in Europe while I’m there to do the research. Now that I have a niece living in the UK with her English husband, my desire to visit has grown even stronger––plus I have a place to stay and a wonderful tour guide!

Awesome trip! And let me assure you that 7-hour battery is sweet, LOL. I have an Acer I chose for that very reason. Is there another author who has greatly influenced your writing?

My first influence was Laura Ingalls Wilder. Later Eugenia Price and Catherine Marshall became favorites––writers who managed to combine a compelling story with deep characterization. Contemporary author heroes for me are Angela Hunt, Robin Lee Hatcher, Ann Tatlock, Lisa Samson…Oh! There are so many…the list goes on and on.


Thanks so much for visiting, Deb! Readers, you'll want to check out her website at and her blog at

Her book is available from ChristianBook or CrossPurposes.

Void where prohibited. Contest ends 5/13/10. Winner will have two weeks to claim book before another winner is selected.


  1. a fabulous posting/interview...would LOVE to read Deborah's latest novel...thanks for the chance, Roseanna :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  2. Sounds like a new great series.

  3. Great interview and book. I would just love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Trinity Rose

    wandaelaine at gmail dot com

  4. I took a writing class from Deb Raney back in 2007, so I'd like to state for the record that, while she may not think so, she IS quite funny.

    I love the idea of having a brainstorm session once a year. How fabulous!

  5. The book sounds wonderful!!! Thanks so much for the chance to win it!!!
    God bless!
    ~Katie G.

    katiegalyean (@) yahoo (.) com

  6. Great posting. I would love to win a copy of Almost Forever. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Cindy W.


  7. I just had to show the picture of your office to my husband and begin begging, Deb :). I would love to read this one!


  8. Almost Forever sounds intriguing with the hero and heroine both losing someone in the same fire. Please include me, thanks!

  9. We're in Iowa visiting our son and daughter-in-law so I'm not online much this weekend, but just wanted to stop by and say thanks for all the encouraging words! And thanks, Roseanna for the great interview. I had a blast answering your fun questions. And really, really thanks, Stephanie, for thinking I'm funny. : )

  10. Hi,

    Sounds like a good read :) Please enter me into the contest.Would like to read this one.



  11. WOW this book sounds like it will really pull at the heartstrings but then again don't all of Deborah's books? I'm really excited for the new series! Please enter me! :-)

    XOXO~ Renee

  12. This book sounds really good! Please enter me!


  13. Sounds like a good read! Please enter me. Carman sent me. Thanks.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  14. Sounds awesome. I can't wait to read it.

  15. Nice interview. Thanks. Please enter me in the drawing.
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com
    find your giveaway at Carman's

  16. Too fun! I just recently read my first Deborah Raney book and loved it. She is great at establishing characters!

    natashasiegrist at hotmail dot com

  17. Wow, this book sounds like a good one! Carman sent me. :)


  18. This sounds fantastic. As an army wife I know the bond that you make when times are tough. trishbazin(at)

  19. Deb Raney is a cut above the rest!



  20. I would love to win and read this book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  21. Sounds good--please enter my name!


  22. I would love to win this book. Thanks!
    (Carmen sent me) :)

  23. I'd love to read this!

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

  24. Carman sent me! Please enter me in this giveaway - Thanks!


  25. Carman sent me too...please enter me into the contest.



  26. Carman sent me! Please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks!


  27. Sounds like a great book~Please enter me!


  28. Carman sent me. I love Deb's books; have read them all and anxious to read this one. Please enter me. Thanks!!!

  29. this book looks and sounds amazing!! i've never read any of Deb's books but i'll have to start!!
    i cant wait to read it!!
    Carman sent me.

  30. Well, I can't give you my office, Julia, but I CAN give you a book. :) Congratulations! And thanks again to all who entered. And to you, Roseanna for hosting me!