Friday, October 11, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature-Deb Raney





Today I welcome 
Deb Raney,
a dynamic lady who knows how to make you feel important. She is kind, laughs, and ever so much fun to be with. 

Enter to win Deb's October 2013 release,
Silver Bells

Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.


I met Deb at the 2013 ACFW conference. Of course I knew what a famous author she was before I walked up to her desk for my meeting. I initially felt like the ugly duckling walking into the chambers of a great queen. It took her two seconds to help me feel like her Christian sister. And she did this while critiquing my work! Now that is amazing. I immediately wanted to hear more from her and am excited to read her books. This is a lady you want to meet. I asked Deb to tell us how God led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:


God Has Proven Himself Faithful Again and Again

Since I was big enough to hold a pencil and scratch out a few wobbly marks, writing was how I expressed myself. 

I distinctly remember the summer I was 10 or 11 years old and reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie series. As I read, it suddenly hit me that Laura Ingalls was a little Kansas farm girl just like I was! When I made the connection that I, too, could grow up to be a writer like this other little Kansas farm girl, a dream was born. 

I don't believe I connected that dream as a calling from the Lord until I actually started writing seriously when I was 38 years old. And then, the reason I recognized it as a gift from God was because of the very specific way my ability to write was instrumental in answering a deep prayer of my heart.

I suffered from asthma as a child. Growing up on a farm, I longed to be outdoors playing in the hay loft or riding the combine or tractor with my dad. Instead, because wheat dust and hay were what set off my asthma, I spent most of my time indoors simply trying to breathe. 

But while I was indoors, my mother read to me and I learned to love word! Literature, books, reading, and writing all became an important part of my life. I’m not sure I would have become an author had it not been for the suffering I went through with asthma. I think this is why Romans 8: 28 is my favorite scripture in the Bible. I know God can take even our trials and ultimately use them wholly for our good––and for His glory.

The thing that has surprised me the most about the journey God has taken me on in my writing life is the way God has positioned me in just the right places with just the right people all through my life to ultimately culminate in a finished novel. 

I had several high school and college English instructors who very strongly affirmed and encouraged my gift for creative writing. I was placed in a special advanced English class in high school and many of the projects we did in that class were wonderful exercises in stretching my creativity, not to mention encouraging my self-confidence in that area. 

Although I considered myself a Christian at this point and if asked, would probably have acknowledged God as the source of my talent, I think I was too much of the typical self-absorbed teenager to wholly understand what that really meant.

Had I recognized, in my twenties, that my gift for writing was from God, I don't think I would have been so content to simply stay home and enjoy my children's growing up years. I might have missed or overlooked the equally important gift God gave me for being a good mother.

But God was working, leading me toward this calling as a writer even when I didn’t recognize His hand on my life. Early in our marriage, long before I began to write seriously, Ken and I worked in a nursing home with many Alzheimer's patients and their families. I had no way of knowing that I would someday write a novel on that very topic, but God knew that and put me in a place where I was living the research I would need some twenty years down the road.

With every year that passes, I learn to trust God more with my life, with my family, and with my career because He has proven himself faithful again and again. 



DEBORAH RANEY's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched her writing career after 20 happy years as a stay-at-home mom. Since then, her books have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Deb's 23rd novel, The Face of the Earth, released from Howard/Simon & Schuster in May and her new Christmas novel, Silver Bells, just came out from Guideposts. She is currently working on a five-book series for Abingdon Press Fiction. Deb enjoys teaching at writers' conferences across the country. 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 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 Deb on the Web at www.deborahraney.com.




To enter the contest for an autographed copy of 
Deb Raney's book: "Silver Bells":
leave a comment (and email address)
and become a follower of this site if you aren't already.

sorry, U.S. only

Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Deb, for Joining us This Weekend!

Friend, I love hearing how God demonstrates His love for us. Looking back on your youth, can you see how God worked in your life, even before you had a relationship with Him?

Christmas is my all time favorite holiday. What holiday is your favorite? Tell something you especially like about the holiday.

28 comments:

  1. Love Deb Raney and all of her books! Would love to win a copy of this one! :)

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    1. Whoops! Forgot email address which is super_tec@hotmail.com

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    2. Couldn't figure out how to "become a follower of this site". I followed on FB. Hope that's good enough.

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    3. Kathleen, its the 6t little 'box' on the right side column called 'sign up to receive email for latest post..then you'll have to verify ur email and thats it :)

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    4. Kathleen,
      Thanks so much for joining us today. I hear the excitement in the voice of your words! Deb's are amongst the best.
      For a follow, you can also either sign up for email or click the blue button in the box above "join this site". Your choice.
      So wonderful to see you here and to chat with you on this gorgeous sunny, full leaf colored day.
      Looking forward to seeing you again.

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  2. Good Morning! I have always loved Christmas too, but it is kind of a bittersweet holiday now. My Dad died on out anniversary (Dec. 20), and his funeral was held on Christmas Eve. Not a happy time for our family. But, I know that God has a time for everything, and I now understand more about it. And, yes, I can see how God was working in my life from the time I was a small child. He was taking care of me, and He always loved me. Thank you for the opportunity to enter this contest. I love your books. My e-mail address is Sharonstone452000@yahoo.com God bless you.

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    1. Sharon,
      Christmas is a powerfully emotional time for your family. Obviously you were blessed with a wonderful father. But as you have hopefully seen, you have also been blessed with a wonderful Father, who loves you more than any of us will ever understand. God promises to continue to take care of you, sweet Sharon. You--are--loved.
      I look forward to the next time you join our chat :)

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  3. Well, i didn't know but my email subscription to ur post had been 'missing'…so glad i got on here not only for a chance to win a copy of Deborah Raney's "Silver Bells", but also to re-activate my email subscription to ur posts Ms Vee :) i love that u (anyone) can look back on ur life and see that while u had recognized God's plan for ur life AND see that the timing was just not right. I have been on a roller coaster ride of my life for the past 3 years and i want off! but (after reading ur post) i was reminded that there will b a special time for this 'ride' to stop and for me to get off and resume my work for the Lord. So hoping to win a copy of "Silver Bellss" Ms Raney, and if not, getting to read it one way or another :) have a super blessed day, michele at michele.speer@gmail.com

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    1. Michele, you are so sweet. I'm so happy I could welcome you with a cyber hug and have you join our fun conversation with Deb. Until the day your roller coaster ride slows, know this, girl, God is holding you firm in His loving arms. You are safe...even in the dark room, even in the thunderstorm, no matter what...God is with you, and loves you soooooo much.
      I am so glad you were able to join us today and truly look forward to your next visit. :)

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  4. It is NOT easy, sometimes, the journey God takes us on. But I'm learning (slow learner!) that most times, once I'm through the rough patch, I wouldn't trade the things I learned there for anything. Even better, I find that the next time I hit a bump in the road, the things I learned in the rough patch help me get through more smoothly than before. It's a process for sure.

    I know the holidays can be a bittersweet time for those who've lost loved ones. I'm so sorry for your loss, Sharon. I hope that very soon the happy memories overtake the sadness. But again, it's a process. A slow one, sometimes. Praying for grace and peace for you and yours.

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  5. Love Deb Raney and love Christmas books.....what better combination can there be?? Would LOVE to win the book Silver Bells!

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    1. Good words, Jeanie.
      Christmas books + Deb Raney = great combination. Love it.
      I'm so glad you joined our conversation today and look forward to seeing you again.

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  6. already on your list - enter me please - would love to win and review your book
    jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

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    1. Welcome back, Jane. Always enjoy your presence at our chats.
      Blessings on your day.

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  7. Though I like Christmas, my favorite holiday is Easter because of the reminder it is of how much God loves us. I enjoy Deborah's books very much and am happy to have a few autographed books in my Deb Raney collection. She spoke at our church one spring and has also met with our book club.
    I'm a follower of your blog, Mary. Thanks for the chance to win Deb's newest book. This year I plan to only read Christmas books in December so it would be nice to add Silver Bells to those books.
    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. Hi Pam!
      What a great idea to only read Christmas books in December. I think I'll join you. We'll have to compare notes in January.
      I do like Easter, too....lots of fun activities at home and at church.
      Blessings on you, Pam.
      I look forward to seeing you next time.

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  8. I enjoyed reading this great post. Thank you for the opportunity to enter a giveaway.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

    I'm a follower !!

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    1. Hi, Barb,
      So glad you were able to join us and chat with Deb. I always enjoy your input.
      Blessings on you.

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  9. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the bright cheerful decorations, reading Christmas books, and the anticipation of the season. And being reminded that the anticipation exists because of Christ's birth.

    Westieplace@cox.net

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    1. Terri,
      I completely agree with you. I think of the Christmas celebration, the celebration of our Lord's birth for months in advance. I am like a child reveling in the lights, music, scents. I love it.
      Thanks so much for joining our chat today, Terri. I look forward to seeing you again, soon.

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  10. I love hearing how writers get their start. And stories of God's faithfulness through difficulties are especially encouraging. I'm really looking forward to reading "Silver Bells"! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

    (I follow through GFC.)

    iblog4books[at]gmail.com

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    1. Thank you for joining us today, Brooke.
      Testimonies of God's faithfulness is what stirs our hearts and help us face our difficult tomorrows.
      May God richly bless your tomorrows.

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  11. Pam, I love the idea of only reading Christmas books in December. A good way to give yourself a break and enjoy some wholesome entertainment, but also to ready your heart for the real Reason for the season. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by Mary's blog. And thanks for hosting me, Mary!

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  12. a wonderful posting....I LOVE Beborah's novels...very, very much :) Thanks for the chance to read her Christmas story!

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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    1. Welcome Karen,
      We're so happy you could stop by and join our chat today. I love Christmas stories, too. Hopefully you get a copy, soon.

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  13. Great blog post! I enjoyed reading about Deborah's journey following God's path for her life. As I look back on my own life, I see where God was leading and how He was always there to work things out for the best of all concerned.
    may_dayzee(at)yahoo(dot)com
    I am already a follower.

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    1. Hi Kay
      Looking back is so very important. Every time we see what He did, we are reassured He is doing in our current moment.
      Thanks for stopping by. Always love chatting with you.

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  14. Loved your interview, Deborah, & learning of how God used your illness, as a child, to stir a desire to write, as an adult. There have been numerous incidences, which could have taken my life, but God protected & saved me for the life that He had planned for me, just as He led you to your current place in life, Deborah!

    I haven't read any of your books, Deborah, & would love to read Silver Bells! Christmas is my favorite holiday - I love EVERYTHNG about it (Dec. 25th is also my birthday), but the main reason is that it is the day of observance of the birth of my Lord. I buy a new Christmas book every year, & would love to have Silver Bells! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of your book, & thanks for the post - Mary!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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Thank you for commenting! Your thoughts mean so much.