Wednesday, January 5, 2011

‘Facelift’ by Leanna Ellis – Book Review and Giveaway

Buzz this
One of the first books I reviewed on my blog is ‘Once in a Blue Moon’ by Leanna Ellis (you can read my review here). The latest book she has written is ‘Facelift.’

Here is the synopsis of this thoughtful novel:


In life and love, we could all stand a few nips and tucks. Kaye Redmond, a “can do” kind of woman, has the magical touch when it comes to staging houses to attract buyers. Her ability to make things “perfect” has served her well in her career. If only it could transform her personal life as well. With a failed marriage, an angry teenage daughter, and an ex-mother-in-law who is no fairy godmother. Kaye’s life is about as imperfect as it gets.
But sometimes…
Blessings come in the strangest packages. Like her ex-mother-in-law landing on Kaye’s doorstep after a botched facelift. Could caring for the impossible woman help Kaye get what she wants most: her husband back? But no fairy princess ever faced such obstacles: an ex-husband’s surgically enhanced mistress, hormonal teenagers, and – worst of all – an extra handsome prince? How’s a woman supposed to find happily-ever-after with all that going on?


Here is the biography of this fun and prolific author:


Leanna Ellis, formerly known as Leanna Wilson, has sold more than one million books and been published in more than twenty countries. Some of her titles include ‘Once in a Blue Moon,’ ‘Elvis Takes a Back Seat,’ ‘Lookin’ Back, Texas,’ and ‘Ruby’s Slippers.’  A recipient of the Reader’s Choice Award, Leanna lives with her family in Texas.


Here is a book trailer for this fun book:




There are a wide variety of well-developed characters, including Kaye, her 17 year old daughter, Isabel (aka Izzie), Izzie’s swimming teammate, Gabe, his guardian, Jack (who is also Kaye’s client), Kaye’s ex-husband, Cliff, and Kaye’s ex-mother-in-law, Marla. One of the marks of a talented author is to ability to write characters in whom the reader can relate, and that is the case with all of these characters. The characters were both empathetic and infuriating (you will have to read the book to decide which ones fall into each category)!

I love the opening paragraphs of the book; they are indicative of what is to come – smart and entertaining writing. They are written from the perspective of the main character, Kaye Redmond:

Once upon a time implies a fairy tale is about to unfold, something lush and grand and mythical, something with a happy ending. But the brothers Grimm  a twisted sense of humor and, as it turns out, “once upon a time” is actually literary gobbledygook for “impending doom.”
They weren’t called Grimm for nothing.
In tale after tale, “once upon a time” invariably precedes certain disaster. Just ask Snow White, Cinderella, or Sleeping Beauty. They’ll back me up on this. Those innocuous few words are the harbinger of cursing fairies, parental fatalities, and death marches into dark forests for the near perfect princesses. Not that I consider myself a fairy princess by any stretch of the warped imagination, or even remotely close to perfect, but like those fair, aforementioned ladies, my own story begins with “once upon a time.”
If I’d only been given a five-minute warning. (p. 1)

Being the godly woman that she is, Kaye is hoping for a reconciliation with her ex-husband. But as many scenes confirm, she is more saintly toward him than I would ever be! Here is a interaction between them as Cliff visits Kaye’s home to see his mother, Marla:

Words fracture apart as the sensations I’ve needed, longed for, stampede through my body. A vibration zings my hip. He pulls back, yanks out his cell phone, and checks the Caller ID. “I have to go.”
“Work?” I tug on his shoulders in an effort to pull him back. He pockets the phone and hooks his arms around my waist. I lift my lips to him and kiss him, but he pulls back first. “I have to go.”
This is not how it’s supposed to go. Cinderella left Prince Charming holding a glass slipper. Desire building. Passion deferred. Which made Prince Charming chase after her. But Cliff is leaving, backing away, leaving me holding the bag… er, his mother. I attempt to camouflage my disappointment beneath a smile. “Okay. Come for dinner again if you want.” (p. 112)

Jack is a godly man, and he and Kaye have some wonderful spiritual discussions. Here is one:

Jack grabs an egg roll, bites off the end, chews, and swallows. “I don’t get plastic surgery at all. I understand it’s needed for car accidents and to repair birth defects. But…”
“Could it be avoidance?”  I voice my own fears and reasons for not pursuing such a course.
“Exactly. We’re all headed in the same direction. You can’t evade death. And seems to me, folks don’t want to think about what could happen, what will eventually happen.”
Nodding, I plunge my fork into fluffy white rice. “They don’t want to have to make a decision about God.”
“You’re right. Interesting that God’s Word says we’ll grow more beautiful with age in heaven, and yet here on earth the opposite happens. Or we see it that way.” (pp. 143-144)

Later on, they both agree on the source from which true worth and beauty come. Kaye begins:

        “Have you ever felt like you couldn’t measure up?”
He slants a glance my way. “Then I became a Christian. The fact is I couldn't measure up. Ever. But God doesn’t ask us to measure up. He gave us the stopgap.”
“Jesus,” I whisper the word reverently.
He nods. “It’s all too easy to look at ourselves the way the world does.” He tilts his head toward the house. “As if we need a facelift. A wig. A husband.” He thumbs his chest. “A wife. Whatever. In the world’s eyes, we don’t measure up. Look how the world raises someone to celebrity status – the ultimate in measuring up, and then the world works hard to bring them back down to size. The world celebrates adultery or at least excuses it. We need to see ourselves the way God does – in an eternal sense.”
The force of his words knocks into me and makes me breathless. Words I’ve heard in church come back to me – You are deserving. Because of the blood of Christ. You are a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords. If only I could remember that when I feel everyone’s gaze on me, sizing me up, critiquing me from head to toe. (p. 243)

Kaye is able to bring God’s truth to Marla, who has a misperception about Him:

“I think that’s what God wants us to see. How our imperfections give us a need for Him.”
“I don’t know about that. I just know that I can’t do it anymore.” She slides her fingers into her hairline and tugs her hair back. I can see the red lines from her facelift.
“Do what?”
“Be perfect.” She gives a bitter laugh and frames her face with her hands. “Have you seen me lately?”
I place a gentle hand on her arm. “No one wants you to be perfect, Marla.”
She sniffs and looks away, tears filling the corners of her eyes.
I slide my arms around her narrow shoulders. “God doesn’t expect perfection, either.”
“I always thought He did.”
I shake my head. “Nope. Not at all.” I give her shoulders a squeeze. “He’s like the makeup that covers our imperfections.”
She turns to look me in the eye. “Apparently, I need to take out stock in that kind of foundation.” (p. 267)

I really liked this latest release from Ms. Ellis! The book is at times tender and other times tough. It deals with lots of real-life issues. And I liked how it ended! I have enjoyed the Leanna Ellis books I have read to date, and I look forward to the next one that comes down the pike! My understanding is that she has a series of books with an Amish/Vampire theme. It will be interesting to see how she glorifies Jesus (as she does in this book) in that series!

You can order this book here.

This book was provided by B&H Publishing Group in Nashville TN for review and giveaway purposes. 
_______________________________________

I have three copies of this book to pass along to three of you; thanks to Julie at the B&H Publishing Group for generously providing these copies! 

There are several ways to gain entry:           

1) Leave a comment here on the blog. Please make sure to leave your email address in this format – sample[at]gmail[dot]com. 

2) Follow me on Twitter; if you are already a follower, that counts, too!  Please leave a separate comment to that effect.

3) Tweet the following on Twitter:


Enter to win a copy of ‘Facelift’ by @LeannaEllis & @BHPub from @andrealschultz. http://goo.gl/kLp1k Please RT!

Please leave a separate comment with the link to your tweet. You can enter via this method up to once per day. 

4) Follow me as a Google Friend on this blog; if you are already a Friend, that counts, too! Please leave a separate comment to that effect.

5) Become my Facebook friend. Please leave a separate comment to that effect.

6) Follow this blog as a NetWorked Blog Follower after you’ve become my Facebook friend. Please leave a separate comment to that effect.

So there are numerous chances to enter and therefore win! Please limit one entry per option (except for the Twitter option), and don’t forget to include your email address, or, sad to say, the Random Number Generator will have to choose a different winner.


This giveaway is for U.S. residents only. The deadline for entry is Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Three winners will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on Thursday, January 20, 2011 and will be contacted via email. The best to all of you!

100 comments:

Ann Lee Miller said...

I read Facelift and loved it!
Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com
AnnLeeMiller.com

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I'd love to win a copy of this book.
safe[hyphen]LDWRITES[at]gmail[dot]com

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I already follow you on twitter.
safe[hyphen]LDWRITES[at]gmail[dot]com

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I tweeted this:

Enter to win a copy of ‘Facelift’ by @LeannaEllis & @BHPub from @andrealschultz. http://goo.gl/kLp1k Please RT!
safe[hyphen]LDWRITES[at]gmail[dot]com

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I'm already your friend on Facebook.
safe[hyphen]LDWRITES[at]gmail[dot]com

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I followed this blog on Networked Blogs.
safe[hyphen]LDWRITES[at]gmail[dot]com

Anonymous said...

I just want to say that I've read three of this authors books and LOVED them. This one sounds and looks just as good!!

Please put my name in the hat for a chance to win this.

Thanks

Nora :D
norafindinghope(at) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I follow your blog.

Nora St.laurent
norafindinghope (at) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I copied your twitter message and tweeted about this give away.

Nora St. Laurnt
norafindinghope (at) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I'm a friend with you on facebook.

Nora St.Laurent
norafindinghope (at) gmail.com

Meredith said...

Wow, the main character Kaye has a lot going on! I can relate--my life it either everything happening or nothing happening!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

I'm following on Twitter

@tessaa99

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

Tweeted

http://twitter.com/#!/tessaa99/status/22815109894115328

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

I'm following you on GFC

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

Requested to be your FB friend

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Please enter me for your book.
Thanks,
gjac444(at)gmail(dot)com

Diane said...

Thank you for the awesome giveaway! I sure could use a facelift with my attitude sometimes. :O)

estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

Diane said...

I follow you on facebook too. :O)

Linda Kish said...

This sounds fun. And I need someone to do a facelift on my house.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Barb said...

Sounds like a great book! I have never read this author before. I will definitely be on the look out for her books!

Barb C.

ChristianHomes (at) gmail (dot) com

misskallie2000 said...

I love this story line. I know I will enjoy reading. Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Follow via twitterI@misskallie2000

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Tweet giveaway

http://twitter.com/misskallie2000/status/22838265107193856

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Old GFC Follower

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Follow via Networked blog

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Face Book Friend(@Brenda Hill)

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Jenn said...

Sounds like a cute book! :)

jenn(dot)soehnlin(at)gmail(dot)com

Jenn said...

Old follower!

Charity said...

I would love to be entered! I have always wanted to try one of Leanna's books but never actually picked one up. They sounds wonderful:) Thanks!

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

Charity said...

Already follow you on Twitter-kingsdaughter24

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

Charity said...

Old GFC Follower as Charity.

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

rubynreba said...

I would love to win this book! Thanks!
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Charity said...

DT 1/5
http://twitter.com/kingsdaughter24/status/22850539872067584

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

rubynreba said...

I follow
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

Sent request to be facebook friend.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Charity said...

Became Facebook friend.

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

Charity said...

Follow on Networked Blogs.

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

Gina said...

Hi! Loved this post and can't wait to read the books! Best of luck to you with your writing & happy new year, too! Thank you.
Blessings & hugs,
Regina

Michelle Sutton said...

Ironically I am set up to do a giveaway for this book soon and I don't even have a copy myself, so I'd like to win this to see if I like it since I can't enter my own giveaway. :)

Sleepy Sunshine said...

I've heard great things about this book so would love to read it. Thanks for the chance!

rubymoonstone at gmail dot com

Jo said...

I'd love to win a copy of this book. It sounds like such a good read.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Sleepy Sunshine said...

Follow on Twitter
@hopscotchlime

Sleepy Sunshine said...

Public follower on Google Friend Connect
Ally

rubymoonstone at gmail dot com

Sleepy Sunshine said...

Facebook Friend
rose manning

rubymoonstone at gmail dot com

Sleepy Sunshine said...

Follow Networked Blogs
rose manning

rubymoonstone at gmail dot com

Jo said...

I'm following you on twitter

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Jo said...

I tweeted on twitter

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

collettakay said...

I'd love a chance to win a copy of this book!

pepsi324[at]yahoo[dot]com

Maureen said...

I already follow you on Twitter..Timmy1966

Maureen said...

I would love to read this book...I could not imagine my Xmother-in-law showing up on my doorstop!!


aleke02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Maureen said...

I Tweeted

Timmy1966

Enter to win a copy of ‘Facelift’ by @LeannaEllis & @BHPub from @andrealschultz. http://goo.gl/kLp1k Please RT!

alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Maureen said...

I already follow you on Facebook!


alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Maureen said...

I follow you on Networked Blog


alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Maureen said...

I follow you on GFC


alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

misskallie2000 said...

Daily tweet
http://twitter.com/misskallie2000/status/23094135334371328

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Bobbe' Hadley said...

I so enjoy Leanna's comments each day on FB, she brightens my days with her wonderful sense of humor and fantastic outlook on life. I would feel so honored having a chance to win her book, Thank you so much for the generous offer. :-)

Leanna Ellis said...

Hi, y'all! Thanks for all the wonderful comments and thanks, Andrea, for the review of my book! I appreciate it mightily. Hope you're all having a terrific day!

Blessings,

Leanna

Tressa said...

Thanks for the giveaway!
tressa(dot)sherman(at)hotmail(dot)com

Tressa said...

GFC follower.
tressa(dot)sherman(at)hotmail(dot)com

Tressa said...

Twitter follower (TresSherm).
tressa(dot)sherman(at)hotmail(dot)com

Andrea Schultz said...

Thanks for the tremendous response, thus far! And thanks, Leanna, for coming by and commenting! It is pretty clear that you are a popular lady around here!

Blessings -

Andrea

missreneer said...

This looks like a really great read. Thanks for the amazing giveaway :)

mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com

missreneer said...

I am following andrealschultz on Twitter. Username: missreneer :)

mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com

missreneer said...

I sent you a friend request on Facebook. Username: Renee Richardson :)

mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com

missreneer said...

I follow with GFC. Username: missreneer

mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com

missreneer said...

I am following on Networked Blogs. Username: Renee Richardson :)

mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com

by Pegg Thomas said...

Wow... talk about potential for tension in a story! Thanks for entering me in the drawing.

twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

Charity said...

DT 1/6

http://twitter.com/kingsdaughter24/status/23225790254546944

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

Charity said...

DT 1/7

http://twitter.com/kingsdaughter24/status/23392058630733824

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

misskallie2000 said...

Tweet
http://twitter.com/misskallie2000/status/23460419582558208

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

apple blossom said...

liked the book trailer.


ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

apple blossom said...

gfc follower


ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

lgm52 said...

sounds like a fun book. Would love to read it!
lgm52(at)hotmail(dot)com

lgm52 said...

tweeted
http://twitter.com/#!/lgm52/status/23747334441533440
lgm52(at)hotmail(dot)com

lgm52 said...

follow via gfc
lgm52(at)hotmail(dot)com

lgm52 said...

follow on twitter (lgm52)
lgm52(at)hotmail(dot)com

misskallie2000 said...

Tweet
http://twitter.com/misskallie2000/status/23767742561648640

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Amanda Stephan said...

All right, you've hooked me! Thank you for the clips, and the chance to win :)

kjv1611as at gmail dot com

Amanda Stephan said...

I follow you on Twitter too!

Cheryl said...

Please enter me. Thank you.
Cheryl
cheryl[at]cherylcope[dot]com

Cheryl said...

Followed you on Twitter.
cheryl[at]cherylcope[dot]com

Cheryl said...

I posted your tweet.
cheryl[at]cherylcope[dot]com

misskallie2000 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
misskallie2000 said...

Daily tweet
http://twitter.com/misskallie2000/status/24632094818836480

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Raven In A Blue Room said...

Thank you for hosting this giveaway

Louis
schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

Raven In A Blue Room said...

following you on twitter @left_the_stars

schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

Raven In A Blue Room said...

I tweeted your giveaway

schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

Raven In A Blue Room said...

Google Friends Connect - following your blog publicly as Louis

schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

misskallie2000 said...

Daily tweet
http://twitter.com/misskallie2000/status/24956720811872257

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Lynn said...

Thank you for the opportunity to win this book to read and then post a review on my own blog.

I tweeted this: Enter to win a copy of ‘Facelift’ by @LeannaEllis & @BHPub from @andrealschultz. http://goo.gl/kLp1k Please RT!

misskallie2000 said...

Daily tweet
http://twitter.com/misskallie2000/status/25341935883395072

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Debbie said...

Carman sent me and I'm here to win.
bigpinelodge at gmail dot com

Jo said...

Carman sent me. This sounds like such a awesome book.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Aik said...

I'd love to enter! Keiki at The Vessel Project sent me!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I'm a Twitter follower @aikchien

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I'm a follower.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I'm a Facebook fan - Aik Chien

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I tweeted:

http://twitter.com/aikchien/status/26929486905741312

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Sheila said...

Sounds like a book I could really get into.

true_sheila at yahoo dot com

Debbie Clark said...

Facelift sounds like a good book to read. I would love to have a chance to win the book. Thanks.
Debbie
debbiemcla[at]msn[dot]com

 
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