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Friday, October 10, 2008

Spotlight on Leanna Ellis and Lookin' Back, Texas


LEANNA ELLIS formerly known to readers as Leanna Wilson, sold more than one million romance books and won numerous awards before taking a new creative direction with her much-acclaimed 2007 novel, Elvis Takes a Back Seat. She lives with her family in Texas. She is the winner of the National Readers' Choice Award and Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award. She writes women's fiction for B&H Publishing. Her latest book, Lookin' Back, Texas released September 2008. Visit her website at

by Leanna Ellis
Published by B&H Publishing


Betty Lynne Davidson is planning her husband's funeral while overlooking one thing: he's not dead.

When Suzanne Mullins (42) gets the call from her father to come back home to Texas because her mother has gone off the deep end, she knows it will mean having to look at the faulty foundations of their marriage as well as her own. Betty Lynne has always upheld a perfect facade of home and family, and Suzanne has followed suit. But her life with husband Mike and son Oliver is cracking under the pressure of its own unspoken history.

Looking her past in the eye once and for all, Suzanne hopes that trusting in God's love and mercy will set all of this craziness straight—even if it does mean having to watch her father give the eulogy at his own funeral.

Buy Your Copy of Lookin' Back, Texas Today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

Explaining the way my mind works is not easy. But basically, one day an idea popped into my head about a woman who returned to her hometown only to figure out as she spoke to neighbors that they believed her father was dead due to a story her own mother created. That intrigued me. What would make a woman pretend her husband has died? What would that daughter do? And what if that woman had a secret of her own? It took a while to massage the story idea to make it all work but that's usually my process.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

Experiences are filtered through me and refracted in some way into my work. But still, the characters are total figments of my imagination.

3. If one of your characters were an ice cream flavor, what he/she be and why?

Oh, Suzanne would probably like a peach flavor. Being from peach country around Luckenbach. She's probably like something mellow like mango too.

4. What themes exist in Lookin' Back, Texas that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

Forgiveness is the main theme of the book, but another theme that I enjoyed exploring was perfectionism. In case you can't tell, the mother of my heroine is a perfect example of perfectionism gone amok.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

The beginning was probably the most difficult part for me. But that's usually true until I hit my stride. I really enjoyed writing scenes with Betty Lynne because I never knew what she would do. She suprised me constantly.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

My next book is Ruby's Slippers. It comes out April 2009. When Dottie Meyers (44) loses her 'somewhere over the rainbow' after a devastating tornado, she must find a new yellow brick road to travel. Wanting to cling to her past, she sets off with a new set of friends on her journey to find the faded ruby slippers that belonged to her mother. But her sister who seems more like the Wicked Witch of the West wants to find them first. Did she steal them out of the Judy Garland museum? Will she sell them and keep the money? Their journey leads them to their long lost father. But he's no wizard who can solve their family problems. Only the love of a heavenly father can heal the wounds and form a bond between them.

Thanks so much, Tiff, for having me here on your blog! It's been a lot of fun! Blessings, Leanna.

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Thank 8you*, Leanna, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Lookin' Back, Texas.

If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post. Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.

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windycindy said...

Her book cover is great! The story line and characters sound quite amusing and interesting. Please enter me in your drawing. Thank you, Cindi

Carole said...

Thanks for the interview - I also like peach ice cream, by the way. Georgia peaches are good, too! Thanks for the giveaway because I would love to read this book.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Pamela J said...

I thought it was hilarious that as YOU wrote the story, you were constantly surprised at what Betty Lynne would do. I can almost FEEL getting caught off guard with what Betty comes up with, in her state of mind. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks.
Pam Williams
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

cpullum said...

Wow this looks like a great read!
Please enter me! Trusting God's Love is important can't wait to read!

Grateful Gramma said...

Really enjoyed Elvis Takes a Back Seat so I'd like to read this one too. Please enter my name in the drawing. Thanks!

Leanna Ellis said...

Hi, all! Thanks for all the interest in my book! Makes a good Christmas present (big grin!) Just wanted to say thanks again for having me here! It was a fun interview! Hadn't stepped in Suzanne's shoes in a while.



Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing and that is:


Congratulations! I've sent your mailing information to Leanna so she can send out your book.

Others, check out the interviews on Linda Goodnight, Camy Tang, A.K. Arenz, Cathy Gohlke and Siri Mitchell to see if you've won.

As always, thanks to everyone for your continued support.