A January Bride by Deborah Raney – Review

A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.

What will happen when novelist Madeleine Houser’s “pen pal” friendship with a lonely widower takes an unexpected turn?
Who can work in a house that’s overrun by contractors and carpenters? Not Madeleine Houser, a successful novelist who gladly accepts the help of her octogenarian friend, Ginny, to arrange for a temporary office in the charming bed and breakfast owned by Ginny’s friend, Arthur. Maddie’s never met the innkeeper—but a friendship grows between them as Maddie and Arthur leave messages for each other each day. To Maddie’s alternate delight and chagrin, she seems to be falling for the inn’s owner—a man who’s likely many years her senior—and who she’s never even met.
Arthur Tyler is a college professor who lost his young wife to cancer. Together they ran the bed and breakfast where Art lives, but without his wife, the house is missing warmth and cheer. He jumps at the chance to have author Madeleine Houser use the space that was once filled with guests. He, too, begins to enjoy the daily exchanges with Maddie, but a series of misunderstandings lead him to believe she’s far from being a prospective date—even if he were ready to date again, which he’s not.
When Maddie and Art finally meet and discover one another’s identity, sparks fly. Even so, they each have obstacles to overcome in order for this winter romance to blossom.

“Having been the mother of the bride twice and the mother of the groom once, it’s fun planning a virtual wedding. Then again, writing A November Bride made me responsible for every aspect of the wedding, including making sure the couple made it all the way to the ‘I do’s!’” —Beth K. Vogt, author of A November Bride

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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 twenty happy years as a stay-at-home mom. Deb now has more than two dozen published novels. She and her husband, Ken Raney, recently traded small-town life the setting of many of Deb’s novels for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, Kansas. They love traveling to visit four children and five small grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deb on the web atwww.deborahraney.com. Twitter: @authordebraney

From Amazon – I went from full-time stay-at-home mom for 20 years to pretty much full-time author. My passion is my family–my husband and I have four kids and seven darling grandkids! But since, if a mom does her job right, she eventually puts herself OUT of a job, I’m delighted to have discovered my next career. I could not enjoy the writing life more.

I’ve had a couple of non-fiction books published and have contributed to several anthologies, as well as writing magazine articles. But my first love is fiction. I am working on my thirty-first novel. My newest project is the Chicory Inn Novels series for Abingdon Press. Home to Chicory Lane, Two Roads Home, Another Way Home, and the fourth book in the series, Close to Home, which will release in June 2016.

A typical writing day for me begins early–often before 6 a.m.–with the business side of things: answering e-mail and reader mail, updating my website, writing blog posts, reading for research. Our routine is much quieter now than it was when we had four kids at home. When my writing time begins mid-morning, I have a routine that sets the stage, starting with lighting scented candles, choosing music to write by, and brewing a perfect cup of coffee. I have a cozy office that looks out over our front yard, but I often take my laptop out to the back deck where the birds, squirrels, ducks, geese, bunnies, and an occasional egret (or even a coywolf or deer on occasion!) provide entertainment.

Believe it or not, my first choice of activities for the evening is READING–a great novel, of course! As much as I enjoy the actual process of writing, I am an extrovert by nature, and doubt I’d last long in this business were it not for the company of several wonderful online writers’ groups, connecting with other authors at retreats and conventions, and meeting aspiring writers when I teach at conferences around the country.

Probably the most exciting event in my writing life so far was when my first novel was made into a movie by World Wide Pictures. Certainly a dream come true and I feel blessed beyond words to still get to be doing what I love as my day job.

My Review –

 A January Bride is such a sweet book and I am looking forward to working my way through each of the twelve months.

It is the story of Arthur, a professor, and Maddie, a writer. He owns a bed and breakfast. She needs a place to write. Their friendship begins through letters left on the table as she leaves each evening before he returns home from work, and evolves into a deep friendship before the two ever meet.

To say anything more would tell the story and it is too sweet to tell. I am giving A January Bride five stars. If you love a sweet romance read, you’ll definitely love this book.

…But enough about me. Since I don’t know you or the reasons your friends are recommending this move, it’s hard for me to give advice. I don’t know where you stand in terms of faith, but I do know that Ginny has a deep respect for you, so perhaps you’ll understand my perspective on this. I believe if you seek God about this matter, He will guide you to the right decision. It may not seem right at first. It may be difficult and lonely for a while, as my adjustment has been. But I have lived long enough to know that God can take a noxious weed patch and turn it into a sweet smelling rose garden…

…”So all this time you’ve imagined me as a doddering old man?” “not exactly doddering.” She tilted her head. “I was thinking more along the lines of distinguished and … dapper.” Art was charmed by the blush of crimson that climbed her throat. “I wish I could give parallel adjectives for the picture I had of Ms. Madeleine Houser, elderly author. But the truth is, I thought you were just plain old.”

“I was nervous about having you read it.” “What? you, nervous about some old geezer’s opinion?” “I’d grown to like that old geezer quite a bit. And to respect his opinion. Frankly, I’m not sure how much I’d value the critique of a young whippersnapper like you.”

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My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee may be earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 


It is no accident that I have been long called “Lucy” by those who know me well. As much as it pains me to say, I lack grace. I trip. I fall. I bang myself up. That brings me to my organizing tip for today. As I was trying to toss something back onto the top shelf in my closet earlier I came to the realization that there had to be a better way. Lightbulb moment! A stepstool! And, as luck would have it, I had one just sitting in my Garden House not being used. Now, there is a folding step-stool in my closet, tucked behind the door and out of sight and I no longer have to toss objects to the top shelves in my closet.