BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

ONCE UPON A BLUE MOON by LEANNA ELLIS - REVIEWED

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Once in a Blue Moon

B& H Books (March 1, 2010)

by
Leanna Ellis

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Leanna's sister recommended that she write, since she ‘wrote in her journal all the time.’ The idea took root and began to grow. So after five years of teaching, she quit and started writing, with no clue about the book business. Ignorance is bliss. If she’d known the odds against her, she might not have ever started writing.

For about three years, she wrote with a collaborator, but because she had so many ideas she began to write more stories on her own. She suffered numerous rejections. Deservedly so. But she was growing as a writer and learning. She went to as many conferences as she could manage. During that time, she met her future husband, fell in love and became engaged. She also began to final in contests and then actually began to win! The contests helped her get noticed by editors and agents. In March, the year Braveheart won the Best Picture Oscar, Victor/Victoria opened on Broadway, she sold her first book. It was her Cinderella year. She sold her book, got married and won RWA’s Golden Heart Award in Hawaii.
She wrote six books between her first baby’s birth and when the second baby turned one. Then she hit a wall. Not literally. But creatively. It’s not that she didn’t have any ideas, but her ideas didn’t fit the romance market. These new characters, random and weird as they were, began to take over the part of her brain that wasn’t domesticated. These stories were about all types of women, and so she began to let her writing grow in new and different ways.

Leanna Ellis sold more than 1.3 million romantic novels writing as Leanna Wilson, winning a Readers’ Choice award and the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award for her work. Elvis Takes a Back Seat is the first book published under her married name, marking a new creative direction in her writing. Like Francine Rivers before her, Leanna has left behind a successful career as an author of secular romances to write novels of faith that glorify God. A former schoolteacher, Leanna is now a homeschool mom and lives with her husband and children in Keller, Texas.

REVIEW:

ONCE IN A BLUE MOON

By Leanna Ellis
Published by B & H Books
ISBN#978-0-8054-4989-4
308 Pages

Back Cover: Bryn Seymour was nine years old when her mother died, under mysterious circumstances. It was the same day Apollo 11 made its historic lunar landing. Forty years later—divorced, working as an obituary writer, and duly cynical—she meets Howard, a conspiracy theorist who knew her mom and believes a small Texas town may hold clues to what really fueled her demise. Seeking closure, Bryn goes along for this men-in-black ride. But upon meeting Howard’s son Sam, an outspoken Christian, she can’t decide whose beliefs are more pie-in-the-sky.

REVIEW: I’ve just finished reading, Once in a Blue Moon and have the biggest smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart. This story is fun, fun, fun. I’m so thankful to receive a review copy of this book.

At first I didn’t understand where Leanna Ellis was going with her story. When Byrnda Seymour meets Howard Walters, I realize then that Leanna uses the beginning to set up their strange encounter. Howard calls Miss Seymour to request she write his memoir, Bryn writes obituaries for a living - not books - but she’s willing to give it a shot for a chance to find out about her mother's life. Bryn’s life changes forever when she meets Howard. It’s bizarre and she writes this, “One small step for man, one giant leap off the cliff of sanity.”

Because of this encounter, I immerse myself into the story and Leanna Ellis’s endearing characters make a way into my heart. Howard thinks someone is trying to kill him because of the NASA conspiracy theory he’s researching and goes out of his way to stay safe, he says this to Bryn, “These precautions are paramount, for your safety as well as my own.”

I love the relationship Bryn develops with Howard’s son, Sam. Sam becomes her protector and friend. I really enjoyed their interaction. It’s honest, real and fun to read. Sam says this about himself, “Even though I was going about doing good so to speak, I was putting myself in charge, not God. I decided what needed to get done….and sacrifice time with my own family for God’s good—when He wasn’t asking that of me at all.”

Bryn questions everything,” What could Howard know about my mother? And why do I care? Would I believe anything he might say anyway? I don’t actually know why I felt compelled to come here to talk with Howard. Maybe it’s just that I miss my mother.”

Sam is trying to make light of their situation when they suspect someone is following them. He says, “And its Bond…James Bond to you, ma’am.”

“Terrific. You’re living out your adolescent fantasy.” Bryn says.

‘Who said it’s my adolescent fantasy? It could be my current one.’ He winks.”

I enjoy Sam, a man after God’s own heart, trying to help his Dad, be there for his boys and live the best he can for Christ. He’s an outspoken and sincere man who can see through to the heart of Bryn. She is a woman haunted by a childhood secret, affecting every area of her life. I love the gentle, caring way Sam deals with Bryn and her secret. He wants to open her eyes so she could see for herself the light and make a choice to share with him what scares her. I love their flirting, fun and honest conversations.

I totally enjoyed every word of this book; I hated to see it end. I can’t wait to see what adventure Leanna takes us on next.

Nora St.Laurent
ACFW Book Club Coordinator

ABOUT THE BOOK

Bryn Seymour was nine years old when her mother died under mysterious circumstances on the same day Apollo 11 made its historic lunar landing. Forty years later—divorced, working as an obituary writer, and duly cynical—she meets Howard, a conspiracy theorist who knew her mom and believes a small Texas town may hold clues to what really fueled her demise. Seeking closure, Bryn goes along for this men-in-black ride. But upon meeting Howard’s son Sam, an outspoken Christian, she can’t decide whose beliefs are more pie-in-the-sky.

The gravity of life has pulled Bryn down for decades. But a perfect love could be her first step to soaring. It only happens once in a blue moon.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Once in a Blue Moon, go HERE
Watch the book trailer:

3 comments:

  1. Hi, Nora! Thanks so much for the wonderful review! So appreciate you taking the time to read it and showcase it here!

    Blessings,

    Leanna

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the trailer! And I'm really glad you reviewed it--I've been thinking about picking up a copy based on the trailer, now it's nice to have your good opinion of the book too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, Katy! Hope you enjoy the book!

    Blessings,

    Leanna

    ReplyDelete