Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Once in 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)


Leanna Ellis


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.


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


“…sometimes a leap of faith gravitates us back to reality. And other times…It sends us soaring into unexplored space.” (p. 306)

Leanna Ellis understands a lot about human frailty and the difficulty life circumstances often pose when it comes to trusting God. Sometimes life is ugly and painful. Sometimes we can understand, through hindsight, the reason for our trials and the lessons learned, and sometimes we live our entire lives without answers. Sometimes the pain and guilt just never seem to be more than a breath away. Once In a Blue Moon is a story about imperfect people struggling through difficult situations, and even when they do find answers, more questions appear - again with no answers.

Bryn Seymour has been a woman who has been asking questions all of her life. When her mother dies during Bryn’s early childhood, it leaves horrifying questions in her heart that haunt her for a lifetime. A broken marriage and single parent hood have left her rather cynical, so by the time she runs into an old friend of her mothers she can’t help but chase after answers she’s been seeking all of her life. Along the way she meets Sam, a former pastor who is also nursing a wounded past, and together they attempt to sort through some very bizarre and confusing events that eventually lead them to a truth neither of them were looking for nor expected. Their journey brings them to an uncertain place of hope that binds them together with a wisp of a promise, and leaves them in a place where a leap of faith is the only thing that lies before them.

Once in a Blue Moon is a melancholy read, but there is a lot of reality to be found amid the pages. I enjoyed Leanna Ellis’ writing style, and particularly her descriptions of emotions and feelings. This book was a little edgy in places as it related to Sam and Bryn’s relationship, but given their pasts and their current circumstances, it was an honest representation of their personalities and lack of faith. (Bryn’s anyway) Some of the conversations about Howard’s (Sam’s father) obsession with aliens was a little bizarre, but again, it only served to emphasize the frailty and neediness of the human heart and mind.

We all live in desperate need of a Savior, and I am so thankful that Jesus made a way for a redeeming love to claim my soul and make me His own. Life is never going to be free from pain and uncertainty, but God’s faithfulness to see us through…now that is something that I can cling to no matter what!

Watch the book trailer:


Leanna Ellis said...

Hi, Kim! Thanks for showcasing Once in a Blue Moon here! I appreciate it!



Mocha with Linda said...

Enjoyed your review. I haven't decided what I think about this book.