Thursday, March 11, 2010

Leanna Ellis's Once in a Blue Moon ~ Reviewed

By Leanna Ellis
Published by B & H Books
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.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Once in a Blue Moon, go HERE


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 and 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 next.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
ACFW Book Club Coordinator

Bonus Review:

Once in a Blue Moon is a charming and quirky novel of second chances, forgiveness and moving toward hope. Reckless in life, but not in love, Bryn Seymour, meets a man full of strange ideas and conspiracies who knew her deceased mother and hints at a conspiracy involving her mother's death. Bryn was just a child when she lost her mother and emotions and hungers drive her to investigate this crazy man's theories. Along the way she meets another man who challenges her with things she fears far more than any physical stunt she's ever encountered, love and faith. Those of you who like charming, well-written, romantic encounters full of quirk and characters need to give this book a chance.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

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