Tuesday, August 18, 2009

ABOVE ALL THINGS - Deborah Raney - Free Book

I'm always happy to interview my friend Deborah Raney. Welcome back, Deb. Tell us about your salvation experience.

I grew up in a Christian home and can’t remember a time that I didn’t love Jesus and believe in His saving grace. But as a teenager I went through a time of rebellion. God was very patient with me, but there came a time when I knew He was requiring me to “put my money where my mouth was” and follow Him in obedience. I lay in my bed one Friday night after coming home from a beer party, and I dedicated my life––body, mind, and spirit––to Christ. I’ve never looked back.

How did you and your husband meet?

One of the first things the Lord asked of me after I gave my life to Him, was that I break up with my current boyfriend, who was not a believer. I prayed a childish teenage prayer that God would put someone new in my life. He did that in a man named Ken Raney, the brother of my best friend’s boyfriend. We actually beat them to the altar by about a year, and celebrated our 34th anniversary in August. We’re aiming for the milestone Ken’s grandparents will celebrate in May, Lord willing: 80 years of marriage!

A worthy goal. I know you have a speaking ministry. Tell us about that.
When my first book came out thirteen years ago, my church asked if I would give a talk to the women’s group. Not about my book, but on the topic of Raising Rock Solid Children in a Slippery Slope World. A visitor the night I spoke asked if I’d give the same talk in her church, and I’ve been speaking steadily ever since. My focus has become more to writers––teaching at conferences, etc.––in the last few years, but I do occasionally keynote women’s retreats as well. I’m an extrovert and really enjoy the speaking part of my career that gets me out with people.

With a degree in Speech and Drama, I enjoy the speaking part, too. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?

Speaking at an event for stay-at-home moms a few years ago, I was delighted to learn that over 800 women had signed up for one of my workshops! (That Rock Solid Kids one…) I spoke in a large auditorium and felt my talk went very well. But as I walked to another building to teach my next workshop, I overheard some women talking and was humbled (humiliated?) to discover WHY so many women had signed up for my class: they thought I was Barbara Rainey, wife of Family Life Today’s Dennis Rainey. J My husband and I actually get mistaken for that famous couple often. Though our last names are not spelled the same, Kenneth and Deborah Raney does sound a lot like Dennis and Barbara Rainey.

People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?

I say “Go for it!” And I repeat the most encouraging advice anyone ever gave me: If you were to write just ONE page a day, at the end of a year, you would have 365 pages––and THAT’S a book! It’s like walking ten miles…you just put one foot in front of the other and take one step at a time. Writing happens one word, one paragraph, one page at a time.

Very good advice. Now tell us about the featured book.

Above All Things is the story of a woman confronted with a sin from her husband’s past that she must deal with in a very tangible way––in the form of his six-year-old biracial daughter. This book was my exploration of the subtle racial prejudices we all hold. I hope with all my heart that I am a part of racial reconciliation––that perhaps this book could even play a role in that cause. Since the election, our nation seems to have heightened awareness about such issues. But it was sobering to put myself in the place of my characters and realize that I have places where the Lord needs to create a clean heart within me. Above All Things released from Steeple Hill in June 2009.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website is at http://www.deborahraney.com/ and there’s a link to email me on the home page. I’ve also recently become part of the Shoutlife community, and I’d love to make friends with readers there: www.shoutlife.com/debraney
Thank you, Deb, for spending this time with us.
Readers, here's a link where you can order Above All Things:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.



Julie said...

Great interview! The author is so down-to-earth and personable. That is the best writing advice I've heard. This sounds like a great book. I didn't realize that segregation and such was still an issue in our country til I moved to GA 6 1/2 years ago. We're all God's children...

Linda W. said...

I've never seen a book dealing with biracial. Sounds like a very interesting and helpful book. Please enter me. Thanks.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

I've never heard of Deborah or this book but I'm definatly adding it to my reading list, thanks for entering me into this giveaway.

Katherine said...

This book looks amazing. I cannot believe that her husbands grandparents are soon to celebrate 80 years of marriage! Quite an accomplishment to say the least.
Please enter me for this drawing.


Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

Yesterday's Embers was the first book I've read by Deborah and I absolutely loved it! I'm sure Above All Things will be incredible too! Please enter me!

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview and would like to be included in the drawing.

Di Smith said...

Sounds like a fabulous story... look forward to reading it. I was inspired by her advice about writing a book - one page at a time! I'll take that one to heart - thanks.

Deborah Raney said...

Hi everyone! Thanks so much, Lena, for featuring my book here, and thanks for all the kind comments about my books. I'm so glad you've enjoyed them!

To set the record straight, my husband's grandparents, DID celebrate their 80th anniversary this past May (Lena and I actually did this interview a few months ago.) They are both doing amazingly well at 98 and 99! Isn't that amazing!?

Tami @ This Mom's Delight said...

Sounds like a good book! I'd like to win!

Lady Araujo said...

I do love the interview. It's amazing when we realize how great Our GOD is.
God bless you.

sharon54220 said...

Congrats on 80 yrs of marriage. God bless them both.

The book sounds wonderful and I would love a chance to read it.


Sheila Deeth said...

That sounds a really interesting topic. I'd love to read your book.

I'm interested in the fact that you became a speaker after getting published. So maybe I'm not crazy to dream that I might do that one day. There again, my family are probably convinced I'm crazy anyway.

Mimi B said...

Deborah has an amazing goal to be married as long as her husband's grandparents! 80 yrs is a wonderful amount of time!! I have to admit, when I learned about her as an author, I mixed her up with the other Raineys.

Please enter me to win her book.

Mimi B
mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

Jo said...

Wonderful interview. This book sounds very interesting and don't think that I have ever read a novel that deals with biracial issues. Please enter me in the drawing.


Unknown said...

Thanks for the chance to win. I love the story about her and her husband and the 80 yrs of marriage!

WK said...

great interview! I love Deb's writing.


kristen said...

Bummer about the mistaken identity!!
Thanks for the interview!

Anonymous said...

Above All Things would be interesting to read. Please enter me in the drawing. ~Abby


Megan said...

sounds like a great read! And 80 years of marriage is such an amazing thing to behold! Congrats to then!


Anonymous said...

Above All Things sounds like a wonderful book. Please enter my name in your draw. Thanks.
wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

Rose McCauley said...

Since I collect Deb's books, I would love to win this one! And when my hubby and I had our 40th anniversary last year, I told him was hoping for 40 more, so hope we'll make it, and you and ken will, too!

Patty Wysong said...

Wow. This sounds interesting--what an exploration that would be...

Martha A. said...

Wow...that sounds really interesting! But then I love Deborah Raney's books as they usually are! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Please enter me in this wonderful giveaway. I'd love to read such a balanced and helpful book.


marriage workshops said...

I'm definitely going to make time to read this. I really liked the interview, it says a lot about the author and from what I have read, I think I'm going to like the book.

Marla said...

I would love to wind this book. I've read books by Deborah before and have loved them. Thank you for the entry.


Roanna said...

I would like to be entered for this giveaway. Thanks!

peachykath said...

This book sounds really great. I always find books that go against the racial norm very intriguing to read. The author's interview gave me hope that one day I'll fully understand what God has in store for me. Please enter me in the drawing for this book.


Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Deborah, I have quite a few of your books in my TBR piles. I really enjoyed Playing By Heart ~ it was a cute, touching story. :)

This sounds like another great story. Please enter me.

Thank you!