Lookin’ Back, Texas by Leanna Ellis ~ Tracy’s Take & giveaways!

What is it About?

Suzanne Mullins knows her mother, Betty Lynne, has gone off the deep end this time when she receives a crackled phone call from her father asking her to come home. Suzanne hops on the first plane out of California for Luckenbach, Texas and is joined by her husband and son within a day or two.

Betty Lynne is known for her ability to get a job done, even if her ways are somewhat unorthodox. This time, she is going full steam ahead planning her husband Archie’s funeral. The only problem is he’s not dead.

As Suzanne takes on an adult understanding of her parent’s marriage, she is forced to face the cracks in her own. Coming back to Luckenbach brings to the surface a past error in judgement and the resulting consequences. Will Betty Lynne allow Archie to be resurrected? Will Suzanne’s marriage and family survive the long-buried secrets that are about to be revealed?

What I thought:

Leanna Ellis develops the characters in ‘Lookin’ Back, Texas’ beautifully. They jump off the page and remind you of people, or parts of people you know. Betty Lynne has an amazing penchant for twisting things to suit herself, thereby controlling everything and everyone that she can. Suzanne’s insecurities rise to the surface and she allows fear to determine the decisions and choices she makes.

Leanna will keep you hanging until the very last pages to resolve the issues within Suzanne and Mike’s marriage, as well as Betty Lynne and Archie’s. Mike’s unconditional love and his forgiveness had me in tears and I cheered (silently of course!) on Archie’s behalf as he was able to begin dissolving Betty Lynne’s determination.

Despite weighty issues and events, there is much humour throughout the story. With a woman as crazy as Betty Lynne it is inevitable and Leanna provides the light relief seamlessly in a way that adds to the depth of the story.

There are many strong themes through ‘Lookin’ Back, Texas’. Reminders that marriages are worth fighting for and that lies never remain buried. In Mike and Archie you will see unconditional love portrayed in a beautiful way. It is also interesting to see how the sins of one generation are repeated in the next. And all of these things are covered with forgiveness that can only come when you have a personal relationship with the One who forgives fully.


Guest reviewer: my friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence


Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Elvis Takes a Back Seat

Interview with Leanna

Visit Leanna’s website and blog

Buy Leanna’s books at Amazon and Koorong



Giveaway

Thanks to the fabulous folk at B&HFiction, I have two copies of Lookin’ Back, Texas to give away to my Aussie readers and two copies for my North American readers! To enter:

1. Post a comment before midnight Sunday 2nd November, 2008

2. Tell me a quirk you have!

3. Add an AUS or USA at the end of your post so I know your location.

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27 Responses to Lookin’ Back, Texas by Leanna Ellis ~ Tracy’s Take & giveaways!

  1. Wonderful review, Trac – thanks so much!

  2. I like it, count me in!Thanks Rel!cmrobin at bellsouth net

  3. My pleasure :)

  4. I have a number of different types of pegs that I use to hang my washing out and I have to use certain ones on certain items even if that means rummaging around in the peg tin to get two matching pegs that also match the item being hung up!!!! Hows that for a weird quirk? I am sure Rel you could think of plenty for me!

  5. I love painting my toenails all different brightly coloured toenails!And I love tickling people 😀If I’m bored, I’ll sit there and make sure all the placemats are absolutely perfectly straight.Can’t really think of any other quirky things at the moment.Please enter me :)joyfuljewelz (at) gmail.comAUS

  6. Love the play on words: Luckenbach — Lookin’ Back! (I’m a Texas grown girl…and now I have that song, “Luckenbach, Texas” stuck in my head!)Ok…quirks. How much time do you have?! LOL! I’ll go with a “safe” one. I have to eat a Twix candy bar with the caramel part first, then the cookie part. Drives hubby crazy! (Same with Kit Kat…I eat the layers seperately).Anyway, I’d love to read this book! Thanks for the great review, Tracy and thanks for hosting a giveaway, Rel!Sunnysj3girls(at)hotmail(dot)comUSA

  7. This book looks fun. I have family in Texas so the characters will definitely remind me of some of them I’m sure :)I’d love to be considered for a copy!Mary

  8. This looks like a great book. I’d love to be considered for a copy! I’m in the US.

  9. At McDonald’s I ask for the chocolate topping for a Sunday to go on the bottom and the ice-cream on top! Please enter my name in the draw. Thanks!AUS

  10. Since there is another book up for grabs i thought I would try and get this one for mum. Since it’s for her I’ll put one of her quirks on, she doesn’t wear a watch because she can’t be bothered ‘she says it’s very freeing not having to watch the time constantly’. One of my quirks is even if it is 40 degrees outside i will still sleep with a blanket over me. I would prefer to have the fan flat out than not have a blanket. LOL What’s your quirk Rel??

  11. P.S – seeing as Tracy did the review can you tell us your quirk too pls??

  12. And here I thought I was getting away without revealing any of mine ~ of which I'm sure I have many. You're a cheeky possum Chloe-Anne!I too need something over me in summer. If hubby has the fan on, I start out with a sheet and add the doona at some point through the night.My own quirk….The dishwasher. Everything has to go in the right spot. The mugs need a plastic cup between them so they don't chip. These plates to there, the bowls go here, plastic things on the top etc…cutlery…knives, spoons & forks go in the same hole and don't get mixed up. A bit obsessive yes, but I like it like that :)

  13. Love ya, Chloe~Anne!!!Ok, I eat my hamburgers upside down, towels must be hung on the clothesline with three pegs (see a theme with my sister Jen?!), eat icecream with a teaspoon and can’t stand being touched by feet (even my hubby’s).Scary, eh?!!!

  14. Robin, Mary and Tammy – share a quirk and you are in the draw!

  15. I didn’t realize I had so many quirks until you asked this question, Rel! LOL! One is that I don’t like the crust on my toast, but I know I need it – so I eat around the edges first.I would love to win Leanna’s book, so thanks for the giveaway! cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] netUSA

  16. Great review. Can’t wait to read this one. As for quirks I am sure I have many but they all seem normal to me so I can’t think of any at the moment.

  17. Rel, I am like Sunny from above in that now I have the “Luckenbach, Texas” song stuck in my head. Okay, I probably have many quirks, but I don’t really want to investigate them! I have this thing where if I learn how to get somewhere one way, that is the only way I will ever go. People will say, “Misty, if you go this way it is so much quicker!” I never try it. I stick to the way I learned even if it is longer. I don’t know, I just feel safe that way! Drives Micheal nuts! He can’t complain because he has more quirks than I do!!!!Thanks!

  18. I had to ask my family this one! When it's time to leave a friends house, I announce to the family that it's time to go & then proceed to keep talking to my friend… So it could take us another 15minutes before we actually leave.

  19. All the cans and packages in my pantry have to be facing forward.I won’t read books in a series out of order so I wait until I get the earlier books.I can’t go to bed at night unless all the dishes have been washed and put away. I’m a bit of a neat freak and hate clutter so nothing is left sitting around except for my books! lolUSACarol Mmittens0831 AT aol.com

  20. i would love to win this book. umm lets see i can’t eat an oreo without pulling it apart…but then again who can’t? thanks(kjm8704)(@)(juno)(.)(com)

  21. Hmmm a quirk huh? I am a picky eater…becuase of textures…I just cannot stand certain textures of foods… yep I am that weird :o)This book sounds so entertaining :o)crittyjoyblog at gmail dot comUSA:o)

  22. Quirky? I have lots of earrings but almost always wear my favorite pearl studs… boring,I know! This books sounds great, thanks for a chance to win it.worthy2Bpraised{at}gmail{dot}comUSA

  23. Is a quirk considered a pet-peeve? My most worst pet-peeve is someone trying to talk to me when they are rooms away. I hate it and my hubby is good at doing it.

  24. My quirk (that’s a strange word by the way – funny strange): I hate the wispy bits of my hair being everywhere, and can’t stand to use hair spray or anything like that to keep them down, so I use a heap of bobby pins every time I put my hair up.bethstitch09(at)yahoo(dot)com(dot)auAUS

  25. A quirk i used to have was that each garment had to have matching pegs as well as the same items having matching colored pegs. It was too OCD for husband so he split all our pegs and put them together mulit colored!!! AUSLouise Veenstrabuilder4lulu@hotmail.com

  26. Hello! What a beautiful sounds story line with wonderful characters. Please enter me in your delightful drawing. Many thanks…..Cindijchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

  27. It is nice to know I am not the only quirky person around! I hate reading books out of order, and the better a book sounds the more likely I am to wait until I own the whole series (yes – I have books on my shelf I have owned for years but haven’t read because I can’t get the last one!). I am trying to get over that though…I really like the sound of this book :)rosalie@exemail.com.au

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