Novel Adopted by:
Michelle Morrison

Novel # 12
Title: Angels Unaware
Author: L. Elizabeth Storm

Printed: January 1997

ISBN #: 978-1572972063
Leap Date: March 31, 1995
Cover: Stephen Gardner




March 31, 1995

Years after Al appears to a young girl and leads her to believe he is her guardian angel, the girl, now grown, loses her faith and goes to a monastery to die, and Sam, having leaped into the body of a priest, must prevent her death.

Sam has leapt into a Catholic priest named Samuel O’ Keefe, and it’s his job to help a young woman named Teresa Bruckner, who he had contact with in another leap.  She was a little girl at the time, but she remembers the promise of Angel Al that he would come back and has been waiting for him ever since.  Will she finally get her wish before it’s too late?  Who is the mysterious woman Angela and what is her connection to Sam, Al and Teresa? What is she there to do?    

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Windy Bluff, Massachusetts

Name of Person Leaped Into:
Father Samuel O’Keefe.

Project Trivia:
The Committee (specifically Weitzman) is stirring up trouble; the project is being audited.

Sam Trivia:
Sam has a connection with Father O’Keefe; he was one of Sam’s professors.

Sam has the opportunity to change history with a phone call to himself.

Al Trivia:
We get some backstory on Al’s past and his connection to the Catholic Church.

Al’s fedora is important here.

Al has to deal with an audit by the committee, and three beautiful women have been sent to the Project to perform this task. Al wonders if he can pass his quarters off as guest quarters.

Miscellaneous Trivia:
The QL episodes It’s a Wonderful Leap and Another Mother are significant here, as characters from both episodes appear in this story!

The Genesis, Leap Home and Jimmy QL episodes are mentioned.   Kid Cody (The Right Hand of God) , Frankie LaPalma (Double Identity) and Jesse Tyler (The Color of Truth) are mentioned.  

L. Elizabeth Storm

Copyright Date:
January 1997

Leap Date:
April 1995


Regular Characters:
Sam, Al, Ziggy


Guest Characters:


The nuns at the monastery

George Smallwood

Lillian Marco

Stephen Marco


The supporting characters at the Project:
Gooshie, Tina, Donna


Guest character notes:
Teresa has gotten mixed up with the wrong person and is hiding out at a monastery.  George, Teresa’s sleazy drug-dealing boyfriend, has a connection with a senator trying to shut down the project.  Lillian Marco and her son Stephen arrive at the monastery; Lillian has a special reason to want to see Father O'Keefe.  Angela's goal to save a little boy and see that Father O’Keefe does right by someone he has been working with.   The nuns are thrilled when they see what they believe to be angels, but the Mother Superior isn’t happy about the idea of publicity.

Characters that appeared in QL TV episodes:
We saw Teresa in the episode Another Mother.

Angela was in the It’s a Wonderful Leap episode.

The Committee is mentioned in several episodes; we saw them in Honeymoon Express.

Personal Review:
This is my favorite QL novel.  This leap concerns Teresa, a child Sam and Al met on an earlier leap who received a promise from Al that he would come back someday.    Years go by; Teresa is now a young woman of about 19 who has gone through some rough times, made some bad choices and gotten involved with the wrong people.  Al hasn’t come back, so she assumes he lied to her and decides she can’t really count on anyone and is on her own.  Sam leaps into a priest named Samuel O’Keefe, a priest who happens to be scheduled to be at the monastery at the same time as Teresa.  Al and Ziggy tell Sam he is there to save Teresa.   Angela, who also has a connection to Sam and Al from another leap, is there on her own mission.    Much to Al’s irritation, she proceeds to make herself at home at the Project so that she can talk to the person Sam has leaped into.  The author has a good understanding of the characters.  Elizabeth brings the elements of the two episodes together to weave a moving story about faith, forgiveness and moving on.   

Best Line:
(Teresa puts on Al’s fedora)

Teresa:  Cutting edge stuff.  How do I look?

Al:  Like an angel.

Best Scene:
I loved the interaction between Al and Angela; their banter was hilarious on the television episode and Elizabeth does a great job of capturing that.  

The scene at the hospital after Teresa and Sam are rescued is cute.  The interaction between the nuns, Teresa, Sam and Al is clever and well done.

The scene at the end between Al and Teresa is just beautiful.  It’s a moment of healing and peace for both of them.

Say What?
I found it a bit strange at first that the nuns could see Al and Teresa couldn’t, but Elizabeth does a good job with this and it did make sense as I got further into the book.   I was also a little puzzled about the bit about the folks at the project remembering Angela, but when I thought about how she wasn’t remembered on the QL episode I understood the reasoning behind it.   She was helping people and not focused on herself, so they started to remember her.

Quotable Quotes:
(Al talking to Father O’Keefe about Sam doing confessions):

Look, Sam’s there to keep Teresa from dyin’, okay? So whatever he has to do to keep that from happening, he’ll do it.  Sorry if that offends you, Father, but all we’ve got to go on is-


Is the facts before us.

(Teresa talking to Sam/Father O’Keefe)

I didn’t see them, but Sister Mary Catherine-that’s the nun who was there-she did.  She said they were angels!  Father O’Keefe, I really think they came back for me after all!

(At the hospital after Teresa is saved)

Sister Mary Catherine:  Would you prefer ‘Dr.  Beckett?’  

Sister Mary Catherine:  Oh, hi, Al, you’re beginning to fade.

(Father O'Keefe and Al talking at the Project)

Father O'Keefe:  But if this trip into the future has taught me one thing, it's that people are more important.

ISBN Number:

Author’s Notes:
The author calculates the date of Sam’s first leap in the pilot episode of QL to be May 12, 1995, based on a Lakers game Al had gone to see.  He was late getting to Sam because the game went into overtime.  Six years after Genesis was broadcast, the Lakers actually had a playoff game on May 16, 1995, and it went into overtime.

Info about author:
Thanks to someone on the Al’s Place message board, I found out that Elizabeth also wrote the full length novel fanzine Green Eggs and Ham #10.   I also found out that she possibly wrote an article (or articles) for, but I couldn’t confirm for sure this was the same author.

Quantum Leap Podcast Book Club: Angels Unaware

Prepare for a bit of divine intervention, because it’s time for Angels Unaware!

Earn your wings with hosts Allison Pregler, Matt Dale and Christopher DeFilippis as the QLP Book Club discusses L. Elizabeth Storm’s novel that sees Sam and Al resume their roles as guardian angels for Teresa Bruckner as she faces a deadly future.

And they have some heavenly help from another guardian angel they’ve worked with before.

This joint sequel to Another Mother and It’s a Wonderful Leap tackles deep questions of faith, doubt, and the miraculous virtues of a cheap hot dog.

Tell us what you think!

Send us a letter at Quantum Leap Podcast, P.O. Box 542, Bayport, NY 11705

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