Leaving November (Clayburn Series)

( 10 )

Overview

Eight years ago, Vienne Kenney moved away from Clayburn and all its gossip to pursue a law degree in California. But now she has failed the bar exam again. Is she destined to be stuck forever, a failure — just like her father — in this two-horse Kansas town?

Nine months ago, Jackson Linder left Clayburn with no explanation to anybody. Now he, too, is back. He isn't sure he's ready to face the rumors and well-meaning questions of the town's busybodies. Yet he's determined, once ...

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Leaving November

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Overview

Eight years ago, Vienne Kenney moved away from Clayburn and all its gossip to pursue a law degree in California. But now she has failed the bar exam again. Is she destined to be stuck forever, a failure — just like her father — in this two-horse Kansas town?

Nine months ago, Jackson Linder left Clayburn with no explanation to anybody. Now he, too, is back. He isn't sure he's ready to face the rumors and well-meaning questions of the town's busybodies. Yet he's determined, once more, to make his art gallery a success — in spite of the secret that haunts him every day....

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Faith and love triumph in this small-town story of overcoming the past and finding hope for the future. Leaving November gently plays the heartstrings and embraces the spirit in the name of love." — Linda Windsor, author of Wedding Bell Blues and For Pete's Sake

"Deb Raney's books have been an enjoyment and inspiration for me since her first, A Vow to Cherish. She has again touched my life with Leaving November. A gifted storyteller, she also has a way of having her characters learn to lean on God that causes me as a reader to relearn that same lesson. I highly recommend Leaving November." — Yvonne Lehman, author of 46 novels and director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference

"I loved Leaving November by Deborah Raney! Raney's books always touch the heart in deep ways that keep me thinking about the undercurrents long after I turn the last page. The Clayburn series is a keeper!" — Colleen Coble, author of Anathema

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416558293
  • Publisher: Howard Books
  • Publication date: 3/4/2008
  • Series: A Clayburn Series
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,058,031
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Raney’s 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, and the National Readers’ Choice Award. Raney was also a finalist for the Christy Award. She and her husband, artist Ken Raney, make their home in their native Kansas.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

November

She closed her eyes, inhaling familiar scents. Moldy books. Fresh shavings from the pencil sharpener. A bouquet of wilting chrysanthemums. The tick, tick, tick of the ancient grandfather clock in the library's main hall threatened to carry her straight back to her childhood.

The computer fan clicked on and its whirr rescued her, jolting her into the present — not that the Clayburn Public Library had changed one iota in the eight years since she'd moved away from this two-horse Kansas town. But the Internet was her lifeline, tethering her to California. To her future. Adrenaline surged through her veins as she clicked the mouse and scrolled down the web page, scanning the list for the only name that mattered.

Her name had to be on that list. It had to be.

One cautious letter at a time, she retyped her name into the search field - Vienne Kenney - and clicked again.

Nothing. There must be some mistake. Staring at the computer screen, her vision blurred and she fought to catch her breath.

She took a sip of lukewarm coffee from the travel mug she'd snuck in, then pushed it to the back of the book-cluttered desk. She'd agonized over this moment for three months, and now it was here. And if this official State of California- sanctioned website was up-to-date, she had good reason to agonize. The site supposedly verified the name of every person who passed the July bar exam.

So why wasn't her name showing up? She glanced at the connection icon on the screen. Maybe there was something wrong with the library's Internet service. Maybe the system was pulling up an old page from when she'd checked earlier today. That had to be it.

She typed in the URL again and entered her information hunt-and-peck style. The page refreshed - with the same results. She slid the ponytail holder from her hair and combed her fingers through the tangled mass of curls.

She couldn't have failed. Not a second time. A sick feeling settled in the hollow of her stomach. She'd lived through this humiliation once before.

She massaged her temples in slow circles. This was a bad dream. It had to be. She'd done everything right this time. Studied her heart out. Spent money she didn't have on a course that practically guaranteed her success at passing the bar. She'd been so confident...

How would she ever live it down if she'd flunked the bar exam again? Tens of thousands of dollars wasted on a law degree — money she'd spent grudgingly because of its source.

She lifted her head and stared at her cell phone lying on the desk beside the computer's mouse. Her mother would be calling any minute, expecting to celebrate good news. And Jenny, too. Her roommate had another semester to go, but Jenny was brilliant. She would pass easily. On her first try. Salt in the wound.

Vienne put her head in her hands. She'd probably be fired from her job the minute word got out. And if she knew Richard Spencer, he was probably online at this very moment back in California, checking the results to make sure her name was there. When he discovered it conspicuously absent, he'd no doubt call to offer consolation and a shoulder to cry on.

But he would fire her just the same.

A sour taste filled the back of her throat, and her stomach turned a somersault. She took another sip of lukewarm coffee. At least she wouldn't have to walk in to work and face everyone Monday. But she couldn't stick around here either.

Mom probably had half of Coyote County praying for her. Since the day testing started in July, her name had no doubt been at the top of the prayer chain list at Community Christian, complete with all the gory details: Please pray God will bless my daughter, Vienne, with success as she takes the bar exam. This is especially important since she flunked - by a margin of quite a few points - the first time she took the exam.

Vienne gave a silent, humorless laugh. Ironic she would find her name on that dubious prayer list, and nowhere in sight on the list that mattered.

The walls of the library closed in on her. She started to push away from the desk. But something — some misguided sense of hope — compelled her back to the computer. She put her hand over the mouse again. Did this Podunk library even have the right software to display the page correctly?

A glimmer of optimism sparked in her. Maybe she'd just missed it. Maybe she'd been looking at the list from the last exam. Or the postings weren't complete. She'd heard of people who weren't on the list at first, but whose names later appeared, much to their relief. Some glitch must have prevented her name from showing up with the other successful candidates. That had to be it.

The page refreshed, and the ominous message appeared again: No names on the pass list match "Vienne Kenney." And this time she knew the truth. She'd failed. Again. Thirty years old and she would never be able to sign her name Vienne Renée Kenney, Attorney-at-Law.

Brinkerman & Associates had been forced to keep her on after the first time she'd failed. But without a license, they didn't have a position for her — at least not at a salary she could survive on. Not that she'd consider staying at the firm after this humiliation. And she would not take the test a third time. She'd wasted too many years and too much of her mother's money. Her father's money.

She shuddered. It was time to cut her losses and move on. But the job market in Davis was pathetic. Besides, did she really want to face the chance, every day, that she might run into some well-meaning Brinkerman associate who'd feel obligated to pat her arm and tell her how sorry they were and how much they missed her and how was she doing? And was she taking the exam again, etc., etc., ad nauseam?

But where could she go now? She stared at a large painting hanging on the wall in front of her — a misty landscape of gnarled cottonwood trees and a green-watered river. It was probably supposed to be the Smoky Hill that Clayburn was built upon. It was a peaceful scene — and nicely done. But it was locus classicus Kansas. And she had shaken the dust of Clayburn off her feet when she left town the summer after high school graduation. The only dreams she'd ever entertained about returning involved thumbing her nose at this hick town and her so-called friends who had made her persona non grata when she needed them most. Surprising that the rejection of a bunch of nobodies could still hurt so much. How her mother could stay here all these years, she didn't know.

Now, thanks to Mom, everybody in town knew about her lofty dreams. Knew she'd graduated law school and worked for a hotshot law firm. Oh, she'd managed to impress a few people. People who'd thought Harlan Kenney's daughter would never amount to anything. It was retribution of sorts, quid pro quo for all the grief this town had given her. She knew it wasn't right, but sometimes it sure did feel good.

But now - now, they'd all know what a fraud she was.

Her cell phone chirped. That would be Mom. She straightened and looked around, hoping the noise hadn't disturbed anyone. But except for the elderly librarian at the front desk, she seemed to be alone in the building.

She didn't recognize the number on the LCD display. Her hopes mounted. Maybe it was about the exam. Maybe there had been a mistake. She flipped open the phone. "Hello?"

A brief hesitation on the line. "Um...I'm calling for Ingrid Kenney's daughter..."

Her pulse jumped. "Yes...this is Vienne."

"This is Harv Weimer at Weimer's Food Market in Salina. I'm sorry to call with bad news, but your mother fell...out in the parking lot here a few minutes ago. She wasn't able to get up on her own, so we called an ambulance."

"Ambulance? Is - is she all right?" She pushed her chair back and searched her purse for her car keys, almost knocking over her coffee in the process.

"She's on her way in the ambulance now. They're taking her to Asbury...the medical center."

"To the hospital? What happened?"

"We're not really sure. A customer found her out in the parking lot. She'd fallen beside her car. She was able to give us your number before she lost consciousness."

"She's not conscious?" Vienne's fingers started to tremble.

"The EMTs seemed to think she may have had a stroke or something."

No...not again. Dr. Billings had warned them Mom might not survive a second stroke. Vienne snagged her keys and headed for the entrance, her purse strap lopped over her arm.

Suddenly failing the bar no longer seemed like the worst thing that could happen to her.

Copyright © 2008 Deborah Raney

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Introduction

Discussion Questions

1. In Leaving November, Vienne Kenney has escaped the hometown where she always felt second-class because of her father's alcoholism. She's sought to become "somebody" by getting a law degree.

Have you ever sought validation by striving for outward things to make you feel worthy? A degree or title? A bigger home or fancier car? A prestigious address or a lucrative occupation? If so, have these things accomplished what you hoped they would, and given you a sense of worthiness? If not, why do you think that is? What happens to the temporary sense of worth such things can give when they are suddenly taken away from us, the way Vienne's future in the legal profession was when she failed the bar exam for the second time?

2. Jackson Linder comes home from nine months in rehab, still struggling with his desire for a drink. Have you ever suffered from an addiction that held you in its grip for months or years after you stopped the addictive behavior? Maybe you're struggling with an addiction or a bad habit right now. How do you continue to have hope in the face of ongoing temptation? What have you found that helps you in your struggle? If you've overcome a past addiction or bad habit, what secrets can you share with those still struggling?

3. While she felt humiliated about failing the bar two times, Vienne comes to realize that she really isn't cut out to be a lawyer. Her reasons for seeking a law degree had nothing to do with the way God had gifted her or with God's leading in her life. Instead it was all about trying to find self-worth.

How do you feel about Vienne "wasting" her law degree? Have you ever sought after something, only torealize once you attained it, that it wasn't what you wanted after all? How did you deal with that realization? Is it possible Vienne's education wasn't wasted after all, in spite of the fact that she's now running a coffee shop? Explain.

4. As Vienne becomes friends with Jack, she almost doesn't realize that she is falling in love with him. Have you had a similar experience? If so, what did you find to be the pros and cons of falling in love with someone who was a friend before they were a romantic interest? How did your story end?

5. The downside of Vienne's falling in love with Jack is that when she discovers Jack has struggled with an addiction to alcohol, she realizes he has the one fault she promised never to abide in a man (because of her father's alcoholism).

If you were in Vienne's shoes, how would you handle the situation? Would you break off all contact with Jack? Would you do as Vienne grudgingly did and try to remain friends, while putting aside thoughts of romance? Or are there other possibilities? Read Colossians 3:1-15 and 1 Peter 4:8 and discuss how these commands might apply to Jack and Vienne's situation.

6. Forgiveness is a large theme woven throughout Leaving November. Vienne is faced with forgiving her father (who never repented). Then she must forgive Jack's past. Jack has been forgiven of a great mistake (even though it was unintentional). Now, he must forgive his birth father, as well as forgiving Vienne for her judgment of him.

Forgiveness is difficult, especially when there is no remorse. Have you struggled to forgive someone in your life? In what situation(s)? What do you think it means to "forgive and forget"? Read Psalm 103:8-14. Is it possible to ever truly forget a wrong that was done to us? Why or why not?

7. Like Jack, Wren has to deal with events from her past that color her present life. How do you feel about the way Wren handled Marcus Tremaine's reentrance into her life? Do you think Wren gave Jack enough information about his father? Why or why not?

8. Jack's confrontation with his birth father left him feeling conflicted about what his response should be. What do you think about the way Jack handled his father's attempt to be a part of his life? How could Jack have handled it differently?

9. Jack's addiction to alcohol began as an escape from his shame and sorrow over the accident he inadvertently caused. Do you view Jack's addiction any differently knowing this? How do you think the circumstances might have changed the methods counselors used to help Jack recover?

Discuss some of the recovery techniques Jack used to remain sober. How did you feel about the way his recovery was portrayed in the book? Did you trust that Jack had his addictions under control by the end of the book? Why or why not? If Vienne were your daughter, would you be comfortable with her having a romantic relationship with Jack? Why or why not?

10. Vienne felt quite a bit of animosity toward Pete Truesdell. What reasons did she give for this, and did you think her feelings were justified? Is it possible there were other reasons Pete irritated Vienne that she wasn't willing to admit? What might those reasons have been?

11. Pete reveals to Jack that, for thirty-two years, he's struggled with the same addiction Jack is struggling with. How did that make Jack feel? When you're in the midst of a trial or temptation, is it helpful to know that others have the same struggle? Why or why not?

Read Romans 5:1-5 and Romans 12:15. In what ways can you find something positive in your own trials, knowing that someday you may be able to offer comfort to those who are walking in your shoes?

Deborah Raney's 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, and the National Readers' Choice Award; Raney was also a

finalist for the Christy Award. She and her husband, artist Ken Raney, make

their home in their native Kansas.

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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

1. In Leaving November, Vienne Kenney has escaped the hometown where she always felt second-class because of her father's alcoholism. She's sought to become "somebody" by getting a law degree.

Have you ever sought validation by striving for outward things to make you feel worthy? A degree or title? A bigger home or fancier car? A prestigious address or a lucrative occupation? If so, have these things accomplished what you hoped they would, and given you a sense of worthiness? If not, why do you think that is? What happens to the temporary sense of worth such things can give when they are suddenly taken away from us, the way Vienne's future in the legal profession was when she failed the bar exam for the second time?

2. Jackson Linder comes home from nine months in rehab, still struggling with his desire for a drink. Have you ever suffered from an addiction that held you in its grip for months or years after you stopped the addictive behavior? Maybe you're struggling with an addiction or a bad habit right now. How do you continue to have hope in the face of ongoing temptation? What have you found that helps you in your struggle? If you've overcome a past addiction or bad habit, what secrets can you share with those still struggling?

3. While she felt humiliated about failing the bar two times, Vienne comes to realize that she really isn't cut out to be a lawyer. Her reasons for seeking a law degree had nothing to do with the way God had gifted her or with God's leading in her life. Instead it was all about trying to find self-worth.

How do you feel about Vienne "wasting" her law degree? Have you ever sought after something, only to realize once you attained it, that it wasn't what you wanted after all? How did you deal with that realization? Is it possible Vienne's education wasn't wasted after all, in spite of the fact that she's now running a coffee shop? Explain.

4. As Vienne becomes friends with Jack, she almost doesn't realize that she is falling in love with him. Have you had a similar experience? If so, what did you find to be the pros and cons of falling in love with someone who was a friend before they were a romantic interest? How did your story end?

5. The downside of Vienne's falling in love with Jack is that when she discovers Jack has struggled with an addiction to alcohol, she realizes he has the one fault she promised never to abide in a man (because of her father's alcoholism).

If you were in Vienne's shoes, how would you handle the situation? Would you break off all contact with Jack? Would you do as Vienne grudgingly did and try to remain friends, while putting aside thoughts of romance? Or are there other possibilities? Read Colossians 3:1-15 and 1 Peter 4:8 and discuss how these commands might apply to Jack and Vienne's situation.

6. Forgiveness is a large theme woven throughout Leaving November. Vienne is faced with forgiving her father (who never repented). Then she must forgive Jack's past. Jack has been forgiven of a great mistake (even though it was unintentional). Now, he must forgive his birth father, as well as forgiving Vienne for her judgment of him.

Forgiveness is difficult, especially when there is no remorse. Have you struggled to forgive someone in your life? In what situation(s)? What do you think it means to "forgive and forget"? Read Psalm 103:8-14. Is it possible to ever truly forget a wrong that was done to us? Why or why not?

7. Like Jack, Wren has to deal with events from her past that color her present life. How do you feel about the way Wren handled Marcus Tremaine's reentrance into her life? Do you think Wren gave Jack enough information about his father? Why or why not?

8. Jack's confrontation with his birth father left him feeling conflicted about what his response should be. What do you think about the way Jack handled his father's attempt to be a part of his life? How could Jack have handled it differently?

9. Jack's addiction to alcohol began as an escape from his shame and sorrow over the accident he inadvertently caused. Do you view Jack's addiction any differently knowing this? How do you think the circumstances might have changed the methods counselors used to help Jack recover?

Discuss some of the recovery techniques Jack used to remain sober. How did you feel about the way his recovery was portrayed in the book? Did you trust that Jack had his addictions under control by the end of the book? Why or why not? If Vienne were your daughter, would you be comfortable with her having a romantic relationship with Jack? Why or why not?

10. Vienne felt quite a bit of animosity toward Pete Truesdell. What reasons did she give for this, and did you think her feelings were justified? Is it possible there were other reasons Pete irritated Vienne that she wasn't willing to admit? What might those reasons have been?

11. Pete reveals to Jack that, for thirty-two years, he's struggled with the same addiction Jack is struggling with. How did that make Jack feel? When you're in the midst of a trial or temptation, is it helpful to know that others have the same struggle? Why or why not?

Read Romans 5:1-5 and Romans 12:15. In what ways can you find something positive in your own trials, knowing that someday you may be able to offer comfort to those who are walking in your shoes?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    Lostkit

    She pads in and lies down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    &heart

    YAY I FIGURED IT OUT!!! & hearts [no space(it doesn' t work if you leave out the s)] YAY!!!!! &hearts

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2008

    Returning to Clayburn

    Deborah Raney never disappoints. With skill, faith and depth, she tells stories that are real and filled with hope. Her characters could be your neighbor, your best friend, maybe even you. In Leaving November, she takes us back to the small town of Clayburn, Kansas where we meet some new characters and become reacquainted with old ones. Vienne Kenney, left Clayburn with plans never to return. Eight years and two failed bar exams later she is back. When her mother suffers a stroke, she determines to stay, refurbish Clayburn Diner into a coffee shop and run it until her mother recuperates. But will she ever get used to the small town gossip and find her place in the community and in God's plan? Jack Linder returns to Clayburn to face his largest challenge. He must reopen his art gallery and face his past mistakes without running to the crutch he used before. Will he be able to fight off temptation and convince Vienne that he truly has changed his ways? Deborah creates flawed characters you will love and a story you will believe. She weaves faith and truth masterfully in the pages and when you close the book you will want to visit Clayburn, Kansas again. I highly recommend Leaving November and the first book in the series, Remember to Forget.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2008

    Depending on God

    LEAVING NOVEMBER By Deborah Raney Reviewed by Marion Kelley Bullock Vienne Kinney failed the bar exam¿ a second time. After she¿d spent tens of thousands of dollars on a law degree that¿s now useless. Then her mother suffered a stroke and Vienne came back home to Clayburn, Kansas, determined to make a go of the fancy coffee shop that was once her mother¿s café. She must swallow her pride and try to forget that the townspeople probably view her as a failure¿ just like her father, who was the town drunk. Jackson Linder is back in Clayburn, after a mysterious absence of nine months. He must make his art gallery a success. How many people know his secret? He¿s working hard and keeping busy shooting prayers up to God¿ the God whom he leans on. Vienne and Jackson, two new business owners, form a tenuous friendship. When she finds out about Jackson¿s past, she vows to have nothing to do with him. If she dares to let herself fall for a man with the same addiction that killed her father, she fears it will end up like it did for her mom. Leaving November explores the curse of addiction, the healing balm of forgiveness, and the faith in God that makes it possible to succeed one day at a time. A beautiful story, I could never do it justice in a review. As have other Deb Raney books, it touched my heart in a special way. Vienne and Jackson, and even Pete, will live on in my memory because Deb made them real.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2008

    Leaving November

    This book is great summer reading! If you take it with you on vacation or to the pool you¿ll not be able to put it down. In Leaving November, we visit the community of Clayburn again from the book Remember to Forget. The author pulled me in from the first page with Vienne¿s return to Clayburn after she failed her bar exam for the second time, then stays to help her mother after a stroke. She turns her mother¿s café into a coffee shop just across the street from the art gallery owned by Jack, who she had a crush on in her high school years. She plans to only stay in Clayburn until her mother¿s health returns, but finds herself falling hard for Jack. But there is just one problem-- he has a past of his own to deal with. Alcohol. One that she swore to herself she would never allow into her life because of her father¿s history. Crafted in such a way that we are able to see and understand Jack¿s addiction gave me great insight on how one struggles to overcome alcoholism. This is a wonderful story of triumph over personal life issues that affect our relationships and at the very core of our lives. It¿s a story of trust, love and forgiveness, which brings hope to each new day. This book is not to be missed!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2008

    Raney does it again!

    Vienne Kenney is back in her hometown of Clayburn, Kansas - but not by choice. After investing years of time and energy, to say nothing of money from a source she¿d prefer to forget, she fails the state bar exam that would secure her future as a lawyer. But before she can fully absorb the impact this crushing disappointment will have on her life, her mother is struck down by a major stroke, and Vienne finds herself once again the resistant resident of a town filled with bitter memories. Jackson Linder returns to Clayburn willingly, but with no fewer shadows in his past. Fresh out of rehab, he¿s determined to reopen his art gallery and make a success of his life - clean and sober this time. But he finds himself tempted by more than an alcohol addiction when the coffee shop across the street takes on a new look, a fancy new name - Latte-dah - and a new owner with mesmerizing turquoise eyes. Jack is the very kind of man Vienne has sworn to never love. Never mind the crush she had on him in high school. Never mind his heart-stopping smile and kind eyes. She¿s suffered the effects of alcoholism enough for three lifetimes, and is determined not to make foolish decisions that will force her to relive her mother¿s sad existence. So what is she to do with her overwhelming attraction to the handsome artist across the street? Second in Deborah Raney¿s Clayburn novels, Leaving November is yet another unforgettable journey into this charming town where everyone knows everyone else¿or do they? Even simple folks have secrets, some of which have the power to shatter dreams, break hearts and destroy lives. This particular jaunt into Clayburn takes the reader on an exploration of heartbreak and healing, failure and forgiveness, and welcome redemption. Due in no small part to Ms. Raney¿s deceptively simple writing style and captivating storyline, it¿s hard to say good-bye to the residents of this lovely town after each sojourn down its sidewalks. Remember to Forget was a beautiful introduction Leaving November provides the reader a personal ¿stake¿ in Clayburn. I plan to take a little room next door to Latte-dah and wait impatiently to see whose story comes to light in Yesterday¿s Embers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2008

    Page-turning, thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying story!

    As with any reader, I have my favorite authors, those whose books I anticipate, who get pushed to the top of my to-be-read pile. Award-winning author Deborah Raney is one of those authors. She just happens to know how to capture my imagination and keep me turning pages. She has a tendency though, to rob me of my much-needed beauty sleep. Her newest release LEAVING NOVEMBER 'from Howard Books/Simon & Schuster' had me reading last night by flashlight! I never do that! Honest! I had already spent a few hours last evening reading this can't-put-it-down book and had about four chapters to go. I took a break to work on my work-in-progress ABIGAIL, then watched a rerun of House with my dear husband and scampered back upstairs to read the rest. Dear hubby came to bed, exhausted from having stayed up to watch the Red Wings go into triple or quadruple overtime and lose the night before, and hoped I didn't plan to have the light on much longer. I had two chapters left! But, sweet, kind wife that I am - I decided to grant him his wish and turned out the light. But you know, those chapters weren't that long, and there were only two left! So I dug in my nightstand drawer for my flashlight pen. I tend to want to spare the flashlight pen's batteries, but threw caution to the wind and turned it on to read. I wondered how she planned to wrap up the story. Would the ending satisfy? Many books struggle with this - I'm at that point myself right now! I am pleased to announce that this book is thoroughly satisfying and deserves every sort of award out there! LOVED IT! Deb's characters are so true-to-life - Jack was my favorite, but then I love a flawed yet tender hero - and Deb knows how to handle tough subjects yet leave the reader with hope. You will want to read book one in this Clayburn series first - REMEMBER TO FORGET is the story of Trevor Ashlock and Maggie Anderson ~ REMEMBER TO FORGET is the recipient of three awards: ¿ 2008 Christy Award Finalist ¿ 2008 HOLT Award of Merit ¿ FH&L Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist Great job, Deb!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    In November, Vienne Kenney makes a life-changing decision. After failing the bar exam, again, she decides to return to Clayburn, the town she left eight years ago. She learns quickly that the ghosts of her past still inhibit the small town. Nor has she found the strength to forgive her alcoholic father. She tries to make a go of her mother¿s café. With the help of town artist, Jackson Linder she might succeed at something. Jackson Linder left Clayburn eight months ago for reasons he would like to forget. Those who matter to him, realize the accident that took the life of his best friend¿s wife wasn¿t his fault. But he drank to forget and became chemically dependent. Months of rehab have sobered him. Trevor is remarried and happy. Can he return to a town full of gossips that won¿t let him forget? Award winning author, Deb Raney has woven yet another great story of overcoming insurmountable odds through the grace available in Christ. Christians are not immune to disappoints, failures, and tragedies. Sometimes these experiences can alter our lives in ways we could never expect. Sometimes, we find God forgives our past more readily than our neighbors or church associates. Through Vienne and Jackson¿s story, Leaving November, the heartwarming sequel to Remember to Forget, reminds us that our pasts are in the sea of God¿s forgetfulness. Where they need to stay.

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  • Posted January 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    Clayburn is a town I would like to visit. I could see myself visiting both the art gallery and the Latte-dah. In fact I would probably be a regular visitor at Vienne's coffee house since I love frequenting places like that. It sounds like a great place to hang out with a book and a cup of mocha. I understood her frustration at Pete's gang disrupting the ambiance of her place with their manure covered shoes and loud talking. It's tough to start business with customers insisting on doing things their way and not yours. Both Vienne and Jack had secrets in their life they didn't want to share. This was probably not the best way to start a friendship because it kept leading to awkward moments between the two of them. This story shows the effects of what alcoholism does to not only the person who drinks but to other members of the family. Vienne's reluctance to get close to Jack is not at all surprising due to everything she went through with her father. It was interesting to see a recovering alcoholic's struggle with addiction and how prayer was the main thing that Jack could rely on. It was also painful to hear all the gossip that was being spread about Jack. It's sad that people will spread lies without knowing the whole story and then make false assumptions about others. I also felt touched by her relationship with her mother. It's not easy to have a stroke victim in the family and it can be very trying just to communicate with them. Vienne showed wonderful patience and kindness toward her mother. It's refreshing to read about situations like this instead of hearing about adult children who just leave their parents in the care of others. The story is not overly preachy but instead shows the power of forgiveness and the struggles that addiction causes. It's a really touching story that everyone should read. If this is your first Deborah Raney book, it will make you become a fan. Highly recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2008

    A Great Read

    Moving back home is never as easy as it seems. Vienne Kenney thought she had her life planned out. Leave her po-dunk small town life behind her, pass her bar exam, and give everyone back home something to talk about. She gives them something to talk about, all right. A failed bar exam, and turning her mother¿s café into a high faluting coffee shop. One where the overall wearing, manure boot wearing townies are not welcome. And there¿s Jackson. The man she had a crush on in high school. But Jackson, too, isn¿t what she had planned for her life. In Leaving November, Deborah Raney shows the reader how what we have planned for our life, may not be God¿s plan, and how His plan is the best in the end. Come along for a fun, sweet, thought provoking ride.

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