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Elvis Takes a Back Seat - eBook
B & H Publishing Group / 2008 / ePub
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Claudia, a young widow is determined to fulfill her husband's last request by hauling a three-foot bust of Elvis Presley in the backseat of a vintage Cadillac from Dallas to Memphis to return it to its rightful owner. The road trip-taken with an eccentric aunt who actually knew the "King of Rock 'n' Roll," and a temperamental teen with a suspicious mind of her own-hits some royal roadblocks and detours as these women uncover pieces of their past along with the bust's mysterious history. What they find along the way changes their lives forever.
Elvis Takes a Back Seatby award-winning novelist Leanna Ellis is the endearing story of Claudia, a young widow determined to fulfill her husband’s last request by hauling a three-foot bust of Elvis Presley in the backseat of a vintage Cadillac from Dallas to Memphis to return it to its rightful owner. The road triptaken with an eccentric aunt who actually knew the King of Rock ’n’ Roll,” and a temperamental teen with a suspicious mind of her ownhits some royal roadblocks and detours as these women uncover pieces of their past along with the bust’s mysterious history. What they find along the way changes their lives forever, inspiring readers to also step out in faith.
Brilliant! Charming! I absolutely adored it! With memorable characters, Elvis Takes a Back Seat is an emotional journey well worth taking. I laughed, I cried, I sighed in contentment. Leanna Ellis is a gifted writer and a must-read. - Lorraine Heath
"Leanna Ellis takes a back seat to no one, so put on your blue suede shoes and come along for a most entertaining ride to Memphisand to the healing place closest to the heart." Debbie Macomber, New York Times #1 bestselling author
Leanna Ellis sold more than 1.3 million romantic novels writing as Leanna Wilson, winning a Readers' Choice award and the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award for her work. Elvis Takes a Back Seat is the first book published under her married name, marking a new creative direction in her writing. Like Francine Rivers before her, Leanna has left behind a successful career as an author of secular romances to write novels of faith that glorify God. A former schoolteacher, Leanna is now a homeschool mom and lives with her husband and children in Keller, Texas.
I don't give out five stars very often. A book has to have certain qualities to rate that kind of accolade. It has to get my attention right from the start. It has to keep my attention through each chapter. It can't be preachy or whiney, nor be overly repetitive. And it absolutely must not give itself away too soon. I have to admit, when I first saw the title I was a bitskeptical. What was this one going to require of me? Was an over-the-top fan going to chase down Elvis sightings and make me go along? Nope. Was an Elvis impersonator going to try to pass himself off as the original and prove he was alive and that he had not been abducted by aliens? Nope. Elvis Takes a Back Seat was not any of those things. Oh, Elvis was there, on nearly every page, but the author seemed to understand that her readers didn't want to go in those directions any more than she did, and so she chose an entirely different trip and she didn't let Elvis run away with her story.
I liked this book because the story is told in such polished style that readers will want to be in the back seat of that Rock 'n Roll red Cadillac, with the top down, cruising the road to Memphis. The plot twists aren't overly complicated, nor are they over-simplified. Ellis has managed to keep that element of "this story really could go either way here." Even the chapter titles have something to offer.
Have you been spending a bit too much time listening to children's programming during the week? Are there over-the-top happy tunes repeating in your head? Well, Elvis Takes a Back Seat is more down-to-earth and you'll find yourself remembering the songs from which the chapter titles were taken. By the end of it, you'll be calm and happy, humming them instead of the theme song to the Mickey Mouse Club. But, reader beware. The book has a dangerous side. It fosters procrastination.
I put off doing the dishes on Tuesday, for what was supposed to be a few minutes. Two hours later, when it was time to start lunch, I made myself put the book down and go wash them. I managed to get the laundry in the washer on Wednesday, then sat down to read until it was time to put the clothes in the dryer. You have to remember to actually turn the washer on in order to get them clean. Did I do it on purpose? We'll never know. And grocery shopping? Oh, please. I found myself rushing through the more domestic tasks so I could get back to the book. I even found myself carrying it along as I hurried out the door for appointments. Stop lights are never long enough, and why can't we have traffic jams in rural America? I'm giving the book five stars because it earned it. It got my attention from the beginning. It kept me wanting to find out more in every chapter. It isn't preachy, or whiney, nor repetitive. I did figure out the ending a bit sooner than it was revealed, but that didn't take away from what came next, because even toward the end the author had a surprise or two up her sleeve. Elvis Takes a Back Seat is a warm and encouraging story about three generations of women who take a trip, not just to Memphis, but more importantly an inner journey into their own lives, their expectations, and their fears . . . and Elvis got to go along for the ride. This book is just simply a great trip all by itself. - Susan Cronk, Show-Me Reviews
Leanna Ellis takes a back seat to no one. So put on your blue suede shoes and come along for a most entertaining ride to Memphisand to the healing place closest to the heart. - Debbie Macomber, New York Times #1 bestselling author
When Claudia, a 40-something Texas widow, holds a garage sale to offload some of her late husband's belongings, she discovers a note he scribbled in the last days of his illness, asking her to return a bizarre three-foot bust of Elvis Presley to Memphis. Reluctantly, Claudia embarks on a return to sender road trip to Tennessee with her 60ish aunt, who knew Elvis personally, and a caustic teenage girl who is harboring a secret. Ellis (who has built a career in romance writing under the name Leanna Wilson) has some strong moments scattered throughout the story, which is laced with over-the-top Elvis humor and interesting reflections on Claudia's cautious return to faith in God. The first half of the novel is an awkward mix of road trip sitcom and overwrought melodrama before jettisoning the humor somewhere after a tour of Graceland. Elvis fans will likely enjoy the homage paid to the Kingin addition to the travelogue of sites around Memphis, each chapter is named after an Elvis songbut others will find the gimmicks distracting. Moreover, the writing is marred by theatrical clichés (sudden tears threaten like the storm clouds popping up on the horizon). Despite some entertaining scenes in this faith fiction offering, it lacks cohesiveness. (Jan.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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