The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns

The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns

by Elizabeth Leiknes


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Lucy Burns wants a normal life: friends, love, and a family of her own. And she could have it all if only she could break free from the job she hates.

That job? Facilitator to hell.

And her boss is a real devil.

At the age of eleven, to save her sister's life, Lucy writes a desperate letter to "To Whom It May Concern," but when He writes back, Lucy is bound for life. There are perks, sure-she's ageless, she's beautiful, and she can eat as much chocolate as she wants and never get fat-but there are also consequences.

She can never see her family again.

She can never have a boyfriend.

She must spend her life leading sinners to their demise.

After nineteen years of doing the Devil's dirty work, Lucy wants out, but it all seems hopeless until Teddy Nightingale, her easy listening music idol, gives her the answer: a little-known loophole.

If she succeeds, Lucy gets love, happiness, and everything she ever really wanted. But the consequences? They're considerably worse than death. To make it through, Lucy must decide what is evil and what is good, what is right and what is wrong, and if, in the end, there's ever any way to truly know.

Smart, sassy, fun, and wickedly funny, The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns is a fast and stunning read perfect for any occasion. Elizabeth Leiknes's fresh writing and comic wit will stick with you long after you've put the book down.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610880121
Publisher: Bancroft Press
Publication date: 11/15/2010
Pages: 167
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 16 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns

By Elizabeth Leiknes

The Bancroft Press

Copyright © 2009 Elizabeth
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-890862-62-6

Chapter One

October 30, 2008

I recently turned twenty-nine—again.

When I looked in the mirror that day, I saw my birthday self. My face, youthful in an unexpected way, was dewy-pink and firm. My eyes, bright and clear, lied about how I felt on the inside.

From a chain around my neck hung a silver letter "F," curvy like a Laverne and Shirley monogram. When the light hit, it at first shimmered, then glared. The reflection looking back at me said beautiful. It said perfect. And I was growing tired of it.

It was three in the afternoon, but I still had my pajamas on—a silk, black, baby-doll chemise, which came to a flirty halt just below my panties. On my feet, I wore my birthday wish from two years ago—Dolce Gabbana's special edition high-heeled slippers for people who have everything. What really sold me on them were three lavender flowers that looked like dainty crystallized iris petals. Five-hundred-and-sixty-dollar shoes can make you feel like a woman no matter what time of day it is.

I love things like sexy shoes and beautiful lingerie now. I didn't always; I used to be awkward, plain. As a kid, I had the same appeal as elevator music—infectious yet unsavory. One on one, people liked me, but I wasn't cool enough for them to admit it in public. Giving me a high-five at a party was the equivalent of getting caught tapping your fingers to a Pat Boone tune or belting out a Neil Sedaka ditty in the shower.

But when He began granting me birthday wishes, I started asking for changes. Over a three-year period, I became a different person, soon possessing a body most girls would die for—tall, mostly legs, and real breasts a normal person would have to buy. And He'd arranged for me to remain young and beautiful—forever.

I was a dream, or that's what I'd been told. So, on my usual re-birthday, He called for my wish. I asked for Johnny Depp to install my cable—not the 1980s Brat Pack Johnny Depp with the Flock of Seagulls bangs and Viper Room scowl, but the recently oh-so French, pirate Johnny Depp with long silky hair and smart glasses that say "I vote even though I'm married to a super-model."

Then I changed my mind when I thought of another possibility: a sweaty, shirtless Johnny Depp trimming my hedges. So I requested Johnny Depp to be my new lawn boy, but He reminded me of the rule—birthday wishes can't involve anything sexual.

"Complicated," He once said.

I knew what He meant. It would distract me from my work, the job I was groomed for. I was only supposed to attract men, not court them.

So I ended up asking for the return of an old friend I'd abandoned in a thrift store more than a decade earlier. By the time the phone call ended, my friend had arrived—six of him, to be exact. Propped up against the wooden post of my mailbox were six vintage albums featuring the greatest easy-listening pop idol who ever lived—my one and only, Teddy Nightingale.

Teddy Nightingale was his stage name. His real name, Craig Larson, didn't live up to his musical genius, and as I stared at his six albums on my front lawn, I saw him in all his glitz and grandeur, and recognized each album cover right away. The first one featured a colossal-sized Teddy atop a snowy mountain, armed with a clunky, super-shiny microphone. The cardboard cover was faded and had a chewed-off corner thanks to Muffin, our childhood dog. I flipped through the six-gifts-in-one until I found le crème de la crème—Teddy's first live album. And there he was at center stage—a heavenly, spotlighted Teddy looking to the sky with outstretched arms in a perfect purple-and- silver spandex jumpsuit.

I brought all six albums into the house to help me celebrate, and lined them up on my kitchen table next to my chocolate fudge birthday cake. For breakfast, I'd eaten the whole cake, except for one saved piece. Last year's birthday wish was to be able to eat unlimited and varied forms of chocolate, but not gain weight. Chocolate in ridiculous doses is no worse for my ass than a platter of broccoli.

So, as I'd done so many times before, I sat alone in front of a makeshift shrine dedicated to a misunderstood '70s icon. Being with him again was like wearing my oldest sneakers. I made a martini, lit a skinny pink candle, and made a secret wish.

I fondly remembered past birthdays when my whole family was in attendance. Since college, I'd spent all my birthdays alone, but a birthday never seemed like a birthday without my sister (and blood buddy) Ellen. For lots of reasons, both complicated and painful, I wasn't supposed to have Ellen's family life. I was married to my work.

I hadn't seen Ellen for over twenty years.

I missed her.

After my solo birthday party, I replaced the Tony Bennett CD with a Teddy Nightingale record. I'd never gotten used to the modern technology. CDs are just mini-records, but what I most hate about them is how perfectly boring they are—shiny, compact, indestructible, crystal clear. One of the most beautiful sounds in the world is the static- crackle that accompanies a vinyl record—even one that skips is cherished. It's a sign that it's played a lot, and loved.

I fired up my computer for the day, but was interrupted by four deliberate knocks.

"It's the police."

I took another sip of my drink, put on my slippers, and took one last glance at my computer screen. Your numbers are down. The software program keeps track of such things.

It usually took me a few seconds to figure out if my visitors were simply random guests, or if they were there because of my job. I turned the volume down on Teddy and went to see what type of company I'd be dealing with.

I tucked my hair behind my ears as I always do when I'm curious, and approached the peephole in my front door. It was a crisp October afternoon, almost dusk. The leaves had completed their transformation from lush green to fiery orange, which reminded me I needed to rake my lawn, and the cold air slapped my exposed skin.

Two police officers greeted me when I opened the door. My shiny dark hair cascaded over my shoulders and covered just enough of my breasts to hide my goose bumps.

They both tried not to react when they saw me, but the one on the left stared hard at my thighs. He was the typical sheriff-looking kind—his belt, riding way below his bulging belly, looked like it needed rescuing.

Frank Webster. Right on time.

The average person never would've guessed he was two years behind on child support, or that he regularly molested Jessica Daniels, the eight-year-old girl who lived next door to him, but it was evident to me. I had the special talent of seeing people for who they really were.

It was part of my job.

Frank was restless. He placed his hand on his nightstick as if he might have to use it. Good luck, Frank.

The other officer, younger and leaner—"Collins," his name-tag said—was much more relaxed. His dark hair was all messed up from the brisk autumn breeze.

"Afternoon, ma'am," he said. "Are you Lucille Burns?"

"Yes, I'm Lucy Burns." I smiled.

"We're sorry to bother you, ma'am, but we have a few questions. May we come in?" His voice, deep and resonant, matched the rest of him. I imagined a taut, strong body. What a nice surprise.

"Sure. Come in." I turned to the side and invited them into my home. That was always the first step. Check.

The cute one ducked his head to avoid hitting the doorframe. They both walked through the threshold and took off their hats.

"Here. Let me take those for you. I'll put them with all the other ones," I laughed.

"No. That's fine," they muttered in unison while looking at what appeared to be a fairly normal house. As good cops should, they took a mental inventory of my belongings. Seeing no obvious signs of illegal activity, they relaxed a little and began to walk around the living room.

The handsome one touched the arm of my couch and absorbed the surroundings. With a curious look in his eye, he thumbed through Dante's Commedia Divino and The Ultimate Baby Name Book, both of which were sitting on my coffee table.

"You expecting, ma'am?" he asked as he pointed to the baby book.

"No. Wishful thinking."

On the wall directly to the left of the front door was a painting, Fragonard's The Swing. A young lady flew through the air on a swing, kicking off her slipper as her lover admired the view from below.

Officer Collins walked over to the painting, then looked at me. "I love this one."

A bit surprised that a cop could appreciate art, I responded, "Quite sensual, don't you think?"

He blushed while his partner, Officer Webster, rolled his eyes. The only art "Fatty" was familiar with were the cartoons in Jugs.

"Yeah, very sensual. Do you paint?"

"No. But I think it's captivating how so much emotion can come from a simple picture." We walked over to another painting on the wall and left the very nervous Officer Webster by the door. "For example, take this one." We both gazed deep into de Chirico's Mystery and Melancholy of a Street, trying to figure out what the other one was going to say.

It was an eerie sight—somber colors, harsh lights, and foreboding shadows. A lone girl shared a deserted square with a gypsy wagon, and a mysterious figure cast a long shadow.

"She's afraid of the shadow," he said, then waited for my approval.

"No," I said, shaking my head. "She's not afraid at all. She's oblivious. That's what's so scary."

Officer Webster, annoyed at the attention Officer Collins was paying me, looked at his watch. "Miss Burns," he said, "we're here because the police department has some concerns about the amount of thermal energy being emitted from your home."

"Thermal what?!" I had feigned the same ignorance many times before. "Yes, ma'am. Heat. We're talking about heat coming from your house." "Since when does generating an absurd amount of heat qualify as a crime, Officer?" I asked with a smirk.

"Well, ma'am, with all due respect, it qualifies as a crime if you also happen to be using high-powered lamps and growing enough marijuana in your house to supply all of northern Nevada."

"Marijuana!" I cackled, then repeated "marijuana" in a softer voice and pulled back the curtain to see if the nosy neighbors across the street were observing the police visit. "I don't know the first thing about marijuana."

I moved forward and touched Officer Collins's arm. As I gripped it, my talon-like nails caught skin. He knew he should remove my hand, but instead, much to his own surprise, he allowed me to keep touching him, and felt the need to explain his arrival at my residence.

"Sometimes the heat sensors in the helicopter are inaccurate." A pause. "Maybe there's been a mistake."

His partner raised his eyebrows. "Mistake? Officer Collins, can I talk to you a minute?" Officer Collins ignored him.

"Wow. That's a new one," I said. "Since when do helicopters have heat sensors?"

"Just procedure, ma'am," Officer Collins explained, smiling and fidgeting with his hands. Considering he was a follow- the-rules kind of guy, it was bizarre behavior, but there was something special about me and he knew it.

I mesmerized him.

He extended his hand. "I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself. I'm Officer Collins. You can call me John. This is my partner, Officer Webster."

By now, Frank Webster was feeling out of sorts, and I began to see the telltale signs. Nervousness. Flushed face. Sweating. That paranoid look of impending doom. Yep, he was the one, all right.

He was a caged rat trying to find an escape route. His chubby, hairy fingers fondled his belt buckle because he didn't know what to do with his nervous energy. It's funny how they always try to control the situation. This guy, for instance, was trying to hurry up, so he could get out of the house. But you can't outsmart fate. It just doesn't work that way.

"Jesus Christ, it's a hundred degrees in here," he said under his breath. "She must have one damn big furnace."

I whispered, "The biggest, Frank."

Officer Webster grew pale, but Officer Collins remained unsuspecting. "You'll have to excuse my partner, here. He's just a little edgy today. Ma'am, I think we'd better go ahead and do what we came here to do. Let you get on with your day."

He looked at Frank Webster, who was now drenched in sweat. "You check the basement, Frank. Why don't I take a look around up here? And then we'd better get back to the station."

"Good idea!" I said. "Come with me, Frank." I walked him over to the basement door, put one arm around his shoulder, and placed my other hand on his arm, squeezing it and winking.

He stared at the basement door. He was surprised to see it, and rightly so. Basements are rare in Nevada. Something about the water table. The door was enormous, and resembled one from sixteenth century Spain. Unlike the other doors in the house, this one was a giant slab of oak hung on black iron hinges, and it did not open or close easily. Right in front of the door stood my chocolate labrador, Pluto. He sniffed Officer Webster's pant leg, then moved out of his way. Frank Webster looked to me for help, but there would be no rescue.

I delivered the bad news. "He's funny about strangers. Guess he's giving you the go-ahead, Frank."

Frank Webster took his first step down the stairs. When his right leg started to shake in uncontrollable spasms, he stopped. He turned his head around to see me standing next to Pluto, who was now more beast than dog.

I continued to control him. "Go on, Frank."

The shaking of his leg ceased, and Frank proceeded down.

One step.



"Is this ..."

"Yes, Frank."

From above, I gave him one last scorching look and shut the door.


Relieved, I skipped back to the living room to talk with my new friend. Officer Collins walked around the room, making eye contact with everything but me. I continued to follow him, mimicking his every move like a shadow. Little did he know that while he was checking my house for drug paraphernalia, I was imagining what it would be like to seduce him right there in the living room. I followed so closely behind him that, when he turned around, he smacked right into me. My slippers slid on the hardwood floor, and with great momentum I crashed, almost hitting my head on the coffee table.

It took me a moment to realize he had a direct view of my thigh and sheer black panties. Perfect.

"All right?" he asked with an embarrassed chuckle. He crouched down and held out his hand—half-tentative, half-excited. When he helped me to my feet, our eyes locked. At that very moment, he felt the urge to go check on his partner, but I held him in place. He could not take his eyes off me. He knew he should behave like a professional, but I took away his ability to be rational.

He broke the tension. "Do you work out of your home?"

"Yes." I sat down on the couch and motioned for him to sit next to me.

He sat down and peered into my eyes. "What exactly do you do?"

"I'm in ... personnel."

"Do you own your own business, or do you have a boss like the rest of us poor souls?"

"Got a boss, and he's a real devil. Took me nine years to get promoted."

"Been working my ass off to make detective but feel like I'm getting nowhere," he said. He moved closer.

"Well, my boss has such a giant operation going, he gets bogged down with all his employees. It's my job to keep track of all the comings and goings."

John Collins leaned forward. "Sounds like you have a lot of responsibility."

I smiled, and when I took one of his big hands in mine, I explained how much I was enjoying his visit. It had been forever since I'd had a visitor like him—a man worth my interest. I took in all of him. His sweet, boyish smile coupled with his strong, masculine body highlighted what he really was—a fine specimen of a man capable of helping me create benevolent and beautiful offspring. Averting my eyes for a moment, I spotted The Ultimate Baby Name Book on my coffee table, and I was reminded of my true goal. A peaceful, contented warmth consumed me when I thought of loving and protecting a child of my own.

I now ran my tongue over my lips, and he moved in closer. I made no attempt to tease him. It had been too long.


Excerpted from The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns by Elizabeth Leiknes Copyright © 2009 by Elizabeth. Excerpted by permission of The Bancroft Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Jane Green

With a great premise and a main character who's devilish and likeable, this novel is quirky and fun, plus a quick and easy read. I enthusiastically recommend it.
—Jane Green, author of such international bestsellers as Straight Talking, To Have and to Hold, and Jemima J..

Libby Malin

A wonderful book from an extremely talented, clever, and funny writer. It was really fun to be let into her world, her mind, and her thoughts.
—Libby Malin, author of Loves Me, Loves Me Not and Fire Me!

Customer Reviews

The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
mjmbecky on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very interesting concept for a novel, wherein the main heroine is a representative of the devil (or, so we assume), ushering the evil off to hell. In this process, she's given up her entire life and yearns for more fulfillment. While I would have enjoyed more of a set up in the beginning so that I really got what Lucy was doing, I did think the story was engaging and fast-paced. It is an extremely short little novel, but is interesting and engaging.
thetometraveller on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Who would have the nastiness, the evil, the just plain meanness to take advantage of a ten year old kid's plea for help? Satan would, that's who!When Lucy's sister, Ellen, has a terrible accident, Lucy turns to their playhouse mailbox. She leaves a note, a plea really, for the survival of her sister. Her only mistake was a certain vagueness in addressing it: "To Whom it May Concern" is not very exact, unfortunately. But it got a reply, and her sister recovered.As the years went by, Lucy managed to forget about that reply, and the creepy "I'll be in touch" included within it. She even managed to overlook the birthday phone calls that she received thereafter, the ones that asked what she wished for and somehow granted those wishes, even when the wishes were for a prettier face and bigger boobs.Then, in her first year of college, the Devil came to collect his due. Lucy was placed in his ranks as a "facilitator." There are some high points: she never ages, can eat anything she wants without gaining a pound. And she gets to do away with the some really evil humans, sending them down her basement stairs to hell. But the drawbacks are huge. She has to sever her link with her family, for fear of causing them harm. And she is not allowed to have a close relationship with a man, no boyfriends, husband, children, nothing like that. She is lonely.After years of serving as Satan's minion, Lucy's luck turns one day when she learns that there is a way out. A loophole. By fulfilling three tasks, she can return to her normal life and be free of the job, and the boss, that she hates. But, of course, the tasks are not easy. They take ingenuity and courage, will Lucy have enough of both to break the bargain that she made when she was just a kid?This book was such fun! It is well written, has some hilarious scenes and a truly likable heroine. The story moves along at a brisk pace, it is a short book that just speeds by. The whole thing is charming and quirky, it even contains some nods to classic literature. Try not to like this book...go ahead, try. I'll bet you won't be able to. It is lovable. I, for one, will be fascinated to see where Elizabeth Leiknes takes us next.
ANovelMenagerie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The StoryLucy Burns has not exactly made the best decisions¿ in fact, she¿s accidentally killed her sister¿s cat and made a deal with the devil¿ both of which were completely unintentional yet creating lasting effects on her life. No, it¿s not such a great start to life, if you ask me! Now Lucy¿s reality is one that she never truly wanted in the first place and she would do almost anything to escape it.Although Lucy is gorgeous, timeless, and powerful, she wants for nothing other than a normal life with its normal flaws and pitfalls. If she eats that entire chocolate cake, she wants it to reflect in her hips. She wants to see those fine lines around her eyes and experience saggy boobs. Lucy wants to find love and not just exist as a sex goddess. She longs to see her family again. And, I¿m sure, Lucy would love to have a dog that eats bones and not people. When Lucy meets her musical idol, Teddy Nightingale, she learns that there is a loophole in her deal with the devil. She can get out of this deal, after all. But, the terms under which she has to get out of her contract are seemingly impossible¿ despite that, she¿ll go to nearly any lengths to achieve her freedom.The ReviewElizabth Leiknes blended chick lit and the supernatural into a spicy novella that was a fun little trist on a Sunday afternoon. After a long nap and in a quiet house, I put on my favorite fuzzy socks and immersed myself into a crazy tale of the unbelievable. I¿ve wondered if I made a deal with the devil, sold my soul away for that greatness, what would it be that I would want for? Would it be fame, riches, or physical perfection? For Lucy, she was given the ability to be irresistible, brilliant, and gorgeous. I¿ll admit that sounds fun¿ for a day or two. But, what this story reminded me is that my real life, flawed an all, is far greater than anything that I could wish or trade for.That¿s right¿ I¿ll keep my poochy tummy, my adult acne, my argumentative kids, and my debt and live a life with purpose and with God guiding it. There is great evil in our world and it often wins out over good. People lie, steal, cheat, and murder¿ there is both an invisible and visible evil presence living and breathing amongst us. Part of walking a spiritual and good life is avoiding that evil and living for the love inside you. That¿s what this tale reminded me, today. The bad guys, they¿ll get theirs and I¿ll leave my justice up to God¿ he does a much greater job at it than I do.What else did this sinful little novel bring me? Simply, a fun little escape and a story in which I could do nothing but completely root for good over evil. You know¿ like Star Wars or ET¿ a story where you get lost to the fight and are absorbed in the fiction of.On Sher¿s ¿Out of Ten Scale:¿ I¿m a huge fan of the novella¿ this is the 3rd I¿ve reviewed this year. I just love getting a concisely written story that I can engulf in one reading. The novella seems to bring across the message of the story across stronger and faster than that of the 400-pager. Comparable¿ I think to a 30-minute show to a made-for-tv movie¿ if you know what I mean. I believe that Leiknes had a clever idea in creating Lucy Burns and her plight from the devil. She¿s, at heart, a good girl trapped in bad circumstances. What could you not like about Lucy??? She¿s just trying to be person she was born to be.Elizabeth Leiknes and Lucy Burns get from me a rating, genre: Fiction:Novella, an 8 OUT OF 10. If you are spending the day at the pool¿ grab this read and get lost for a couple of hours in a story of the believable, unbelievable!
jcmontgomery on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first thing I noted about this novel, and one that I had to think hard over, is it¿s genre. I¿ve never had such a hard time figuring out where this book belongs other than under the great-granddaddy of them all: Fiction.There is romance, but it isn¿t the focus. There is paranormal, but again, not truly what this is about. Chick lit? Probably the closest as the protagonist is a woman.However, when you come down to it, it¿s about hope and redemption. Common themes that affect us all. I asked the author about this and loved her answer."Lucy¿s predicament needed to be dismal in order for us to fear for her, but at the end of the day the hope that Lucy will find a way out, find peace in all areas of her life, is what makes readers keep reading. I think that¿s what keeps all of us going: that no matter what we¿ve done, tomorrow is always a new day. We can wallow in it and become a victim, or confront it and make a change."Lucy Burns just wants to be like everyone else. Something we¿ve probably said to ourselves at one time or another. The problem? At the age of eleven she unwittingly makes a deal with ¿Whom It May Concern¿. And yes, it is that kind of deal.Upon turning eighteen she is expected to begin holding up her end of the bargain. So then, what does one do when becoming a Facilitator to hell? Sure, she¿s ageless and beautiful, but she can never see her family again, have a boyfriend, a family of her own. She must spend eternity damning people to hell.Quite a job description and a helluva predicament. (Couldn¿t resist that one, sorry).This is not what she wanted, regardless of the perks. She misses her life, or at least what it should be. Seeing it happen all around her, reminded constantly by her best friend and young son of what she is missing, she feels trapped by a bad choice and an ever increasing sense of hopelessness.Until she meets one man who gives her a glimmer of hope, and another who makes her believe redemption is possible.All good plots offer a challenge and keep the reader caring about what happens, hoping it will be resolved in a way that will leave them satisfied. This is Lucy, and the author¿s opportunity, to take that chance and make it work. Both do, and take the reader on a wild ride, and at one point, quite literally.I have to tell you, this book is not as dark as it sounds. Laced throughout are passages and moments that had me laughing out loud. So much so, that while watching my son bowl I drew stares. Have you ever been in a bowling alley during league play? Yeah, I was laughing that hard.Lucy is special. We all are in our own way. This book is about finding that uniqueness, embracing it, owning it, and using it as the foundation for making our lives better. Hope is part of this, as well as love. It¿s these two things that in the end, when faced with the ultimate choice, we rely upon to help us make the right one. Or so we hope.This is as much of a spoiler you¿re going to get.The ending is unexpected and expected at the same time. I had to go back and re-read it because I was so excited, I flew through the narrative much too quickly.I did feel that some things are left unresolved or seemingly forgotten, but this is so minor I feel I would have to point it out for most to notice.For a debut novel, Leiknes has garnered some well-deserved attention. I wish it were more. As I said at the end of the interview I posted, I wish her much success and hope to see her other novels soon. I think the highest compliment I can pay her is that no matter how long it takes is fine with me. She is worth the wait.
tahoegirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A quick and enjoyable read, but without much substance.
quzy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Devilishly Fun Read!Lucy Burns just wants a normal life. She's gorgeous, forever young and can eat all the chocolate she wants and not get fat! What's so bad about that?! Well, those are some of the perks of the job she has, but she also can never see her family again, never have a boyfriend and must spend her entire life leading sinners to justice! (That last part isn't so bad really)... What's her job?! Lucy Burns is a Facilitator to HELL! (Hell now located behind her basement door!) And her boss is "a real devil"!When Lucy was 11 her sister Ellen had a horrible accident and ended up in the hospital in a coma. Desperate to save her, Lucy wrote a note:To Whom It May Concern:...Make Ellen wake up and I'll be forever in your debt.Sincerely,Lucy BurnsShe went out in the middle of the night to her & Ellen's magic mailbox, that was in front of their playhouse and usually saved for Dear Santa letters, put the note in, raised the flag and crossed her fingers. By morning "a miracle" had happened and Ellen was fine! Feeling foolish, Lucy raced out to the mailbox to destroy the letter. But her letter was not there. Instead there was a new note:Dear Lucy,It's a deal... I'll be in touch.Sincerely,"To Whom It May Concern"And with that Lucy's fate was sealed. But after 19 years as the devil's check-out girl, she misses her family, would like some steady companionship and has become a bit bored with her routine. She wants out! Eternity is eternity, right?! Not so fast....She may be able to retire after all!... Lucy found a loophole! But it won't be easy and she'll have to follow her heart along the way....I liked The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns! It was fun, sassy and a quick read. A kind of chick-lit with a dark side. How could it not be 'dark' with a job like hers- facilitator to the devil? (Of course going to Squeaky's car wash makes her feel cleansed after a tough day at work!) But in essence Lucy is a single girl struggling to make a life for herself. She's gotten herself into this tough situation and is trying to dig her way out. Along the way, we see her frustrations with her job (it's really not so fun leading sinners to their end all the time and accidents DO happen!), and her personal life (boyfriends aren't allowed but men can still be tempting!) and her success at having a best friend even though she has to lie to her constantly about what's going on 'at work'. We begin to root for Lucy in being able to lead a normal life, and her antics in getting there are what makes this book so much fun! She is a great character! And you will be entertained! I recommend you put The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns by Elizabeth Leiknes in your beach bag this summer!
jmchshannon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I read for the April 2010 24-Hour Read-a-Thon. I picked it up at 8 AM on Saturday morning and finished it roughly ninety minutes later. I might not have been fully awake when I first started reading it, but there is something about Lucy and her plight that makes one forget about needing coffee and completely absorbs your thoughts. Ms. Leiknes did a fantastic job of presenting a classic good versus evil morality tale, with her own added twist. Lucy is funny, likeable, and snarky. The snark definitely lightens the message but allows the reader to relate to Lucy, even if she can eat all the chocolate she wants without gaining weight. At 167 pages, there does not appear to be much there, but Ms. Leiknes does a tremendous job of raising questions - what makes people good versus evil? Is it one's job, one's thoughts, one's actions, one's intentions, or a combination thereof? In addition, she demonstrates very clearly that one should also be careful of what one wishes - in a very literal sense. More importantly, she presents a great lesson on empathy and the need to always get to know the full story before making assumptions. The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns is deliciously fun in its snarkiness, but it does have a very serious message about having it all and being careful for what you wish. This is no fairy tale in the Disney sense but rather a tale for today's age - one where the bad and the good guys are difficult to discern. A quick read, I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a lighthearted good versus evil story. Lucy Burns will charm her way into any reader's heart!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago