Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Author Leanna Ellis - RUBY'S SLIPPERS - Free Book

I happy to welcome Leanna back to our blog. Leanna, God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

I can’t see all the way to the horizon. But God can. I just try to take one step at a time and move in that direction, praying all the while and trying to listen to what God wants me to do.

Tell us a little about your family.

My husband is the most supportive husband ever! He’s always been that way and I am so grateful for him. God knew exactly who I needed to marry. We have two of the most wonderful children. For several years we homeschooled, but now they go to a university model school, which is combination of private school and homeschool. So they attend classes 3 days a week, like a university, and study and do homework at home on the other days. Homeschooling has been a blessing to our family. And then, there are our critters, which are members of our family too. We have a 13 year old llasa named Belle, a seven year old lab named Liberty, a feisty cat named Miracle, and a five month old labradoodle puppy who is into everything and making me doubt my parenting skills.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

Oh, sure. Writing can often ruin your reading. You tend to be more critical of other books, reading them with that discerning writer’s eye. It’s good and actually beneficial to your writing as you study and learn. But it also, I think, makes reading more wonderful. For when you do find a book that transports you to another world and tugs at your heart, you appreciate that author and want to study how the writer accomplished such a book. What other profession can you go and hangout at a bookstore for hours and call it work? Or buy a ton of books and write them off on your taxes?

I'm with you. What are you working on right now?

I’m finishing a manuscript which is due in three weeks. It’s called Once in a Blue Moon. At the same time, I’m beginning to write the next.

What outside interests do you have?

Outside of what? My head? My house? Sorry, couldn’t resist. I love to watch my kids doing all of their activities: fencing, dancing, singing, football, piano, basketball, etc… Their interests keep me very busy. But I also love to travel, so I’m always planning or dreaming about our next vacation.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

I think the settings choose me. Usually the settings grow organically from the book. For Elvis Takes a Back Seat, it was natural for the journey to take them to Memphis and Graceland. For Lookin’ Back, Texas, my critique buddy suggested Luckenbach and it really was the perfect quirky location which then gave me the title for the book. For Ruby’s Slippers, the journey had to go to the Emerald City which Seattle is often called.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Genghis Khan. I’m joking. Bet you haven’t had anyone give you that answer before though.

You are so funny. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

How hard it is! Actually, I’m glad I didn’t know. I was fairly oblivious to that which is probably why I ignorantly thought I could write a book. Why force reality on a fantasy?

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

There is a time for everything. Sometimes I get frustrated and anxious when I can’t get to my writing, but I’m learning to let that go. My time isn’t my own. It’s a gift I give to the Lord each day. Or it should be. Recently my father was in the hospital for three weeks. It was not only a stressful time for our family as his condition was very serious, but it was time consuming in driving an hour to the hospital each day. And I kept trying not to think about my book that was waiting for me to finish it. Letting go of even time is difficult and yet freeing.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

Write. Rewrite. Rewrite again.

Tell us about the featured book?

I started Ruby’s Slippers with the idea of ‘what would happen if Dorothy lost her somewhere over the rainbow?’ As the story took shape, I realized it was a Wizard of Oz meets Cinderella story.

When Dottie Meyers loses her ‘no place like home’ during a Kansas tornado, she wakes up to find a pair of ruby slippers left by her father who abandoned his family thirty years ago. With her sister hot on her trail to find the treasured ruby slippers, Dottie travels a yellow brick road with three friends to find her father. No wizard can solve her problems. Only the love of a heavenly father can heal her wounds and give her the desires of her heart.

There’s no place like … the heart for God’s healing touch.

Please give us the first page of the book. Ruby’s Slippers:

Chapter One

Some people wish on candles, others on stars. When I was a girl, nose pressed against the passenger window of our Vista Cruiser, I watched truckloads of hay bales rumbling down the highway near our Kansas farm. Weather-beaten farmers driving thirty miles an hour (or slower), traffic piling up a mile behind them. Momma would ease the station wagon into the left lane to pass the snaking line and say, “Make a wish, girls, and don’t look back.”

My younger sister, Abby, always made a production out of her wishes. She squeezed her eyes closed, pursed her lips toward heaven, and proclaimed to all who were within hearing, “I’m gonna . . .” She leaned forward, her hand on Mama’s shoulder. “Can I wish on every hay bale?”

“Why not?” Mama shook her head with bewilderment as if my sister was a novelty act in the circus. To me, she was.

Puckering up again, Abby rattled off her litany of wishes. “I’m gonna be famous! I’m gonna be on the big screen! I’m gonna fly around the world.”

Like any good big sister, I rolled my eyes and let out a long, loud huff of irritation. Looking back on it now, I realize I was jealous that Abby knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to throw her dreams out there for all the world to see.

Cynical, even at age nine, I never wished on candles, stars, or hay bales. Maybe I’ve always been looking back rather than forward. Nowadays, I’ve become a moderately healthy realist at age thirty-five. But sometimes, in the dark of a lonely night, I do imagine wishes coming true.

Otto’s barking first signals something amiss on this damp, overcast afternoon. He’s my loyal, scruffy black dog, not more than ten or twelve pounds soaking wet. He follows me everywhere and will defend me if so much as a crow flies too near. Crouched on my knees in the garden, holding a prickly weed, I watch a strange sedan clip along the forlorn drive at an unsafe pace and feel a catch in my chest.

What a hook! How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m also on Shoutlife and on Facebook.
Thanks for having me here, Lena!
My pleasure, Leanna.
Readers, here's a link where you can order the book:
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy. Don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won.


Grateful Gramma said...

I've wanted to read this one for a while. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

sherrinda said...

Leanna, when did you find time to write while homeschooling? (before sending them to the university school) I cannot imagine!

Great interview Lena! This sounds like an amazing book. Please enter me into the drawing.


Leanna said...

Hi, Sherrinda! It wasn't easy finding time. Still isn't. Life can crowd out that writing time very easily if I let it. When we were homeschooling I got up VERY early. And I mean by 4 or 5am. I'm a night person, so this was incredibly hard for me to train myself to do. But it is possible. With God all things are possible, right? And when I didn't manage to get up early, I tried not to be too hard on myself. But honestly, if I wrote some in the morning then I was more relaxed for the rest of the day.

Renee said...

I've never read anything by Leanna Ellis, but I would love to give RUBY'S SLIPPERS a try, it looks terrific!


Abi said...

Wizard of Oz, Dorthy, Cinderella. I love those stories. This one sounds quite interesting. I'd love to win this book. Thanks.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Cleda said...

Good morning, thanks for another great interview..... loved Elvis takes a Backseat and this one sounds great, also.... thanks so much for a chance to be included in the drawing....


Julianna said...

This book sounds great! I hope I win!

Jenny said...

I've come close to a few Kansas tornadoes (and a few Missouri ones, too!) I enjoyed the interview - and can't wait to read this book. Thanks for the chance to win.

eviesmommo at yahoo dot com

Sheila Deeth said...

What a great first page! And another fun interview. Thanks.

mez said...

Please include me for Ruby's Slippers. Your book titles are so catchy!

Debs Desk said...

Please include me in your giveaway.

Leanna said...

Thanks, Cleda! I appreciate that about Elvis Takes a Back Seat.
Jenny, we grow some pretty big tornadoes down here in Texas too. I've seen a few funnel clouds and the sky turning green -- can be so scary!

thanks y'all for joining in today! Have a blessed day!

bigguysmama said...

Lena, Leanna sounds so funny in your interview. The school her kids go to sounds like a fantastic idea! It'd be interesting to be a fly on the wall if she were to spend the day with Ghengis Khan! :) Please enter me to win her book.

Mimi B
mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

hippmom said...

Sounds fun. THanks for a chance to win.

Edna said...

This book sounds so good I would love to win a copy.

May God Bless

ladystorm said...

Sounds like a interesting read, please enter me into the drawing.


Becky C. said...

I would really love to read this book!

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.


Carole said...

I laughed and cried my way through Elvis Takes a Backseat and will read anything Leanna writes. Thank you for the interview and a chance to win Ruby's Slippers.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Stacie said...

Thanks for the chance and the interview!

Amber S. said...

Thanks for a chance to win! The interview was great and the book sounds really interesting!

darbyscloset said...

I love this interview and would love to read and review your book!
Thanks so much for sharing your talent!
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

How neat! I have not read any of Leanna's books yet, though I have "Lookin' Back, Texas" on the shelf next to my bed and will be reading it soon. "Ruby's Slippers" sounds like a fun story. Please count me in.


stampedwithgrace said...

I'm a homechool mom too :)

this sounds like a book my daughter and I would both enjoy!

stampedwithgrace at cox dot net

windycindy said...

What a wonderful and inspirational sounding book! I love the beginning.
Please enter me in your drawing.
Many thanks.....Cindi

lastnerve said...

I have heard a lot of good stuff about this book and would love to win one.

Anonymous said...

I love the synopsis of this book!
It looks like it was a lot of fun to write!

Edna said...

Oh I would love to have this book, I have watched the Wizard of Oz so many time with my children. I know this book has nothing to do with the movie but it has to be good. I also want the book Leanna did on Elvis, he was my favorite as I was a teenager in the 50th and have been to see Graceland.

May God blee you as you do these contest all the time, you must really love your work, I know I like to read it,

Marla said...

Please include me in Ruby's Slippers giveaway. Sounds like a book with a different twist. Thank you!