Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another Fun Giveaway Ends March 5 "Saying Thank You"

 Another fun giveaway. A small basket of lotion, bath gel in lip gloss in a tin basket, Hope for Each Day a devotional and journal by Billy Graham, friends pad of paper, Friend in the Storm ink pen, book light and kitty bookmark. To enter the drawing answer the question, 'What is a great way to let people know you appreciate them.' or just leave a comment.


Our pastor has been doing something interesting lately. We are a fairly new church, about 4 years old. He started calling people up front of the church to let them and the congregation know how much he appreciates them. He started with the beginning members. So after such a fun week with Laurie Alice and having her launch party I decided to mention some of the people who have been instrumental in helping me along my way.

What is amazing to me is that the people who have helped me get to where I am today in my writing are more than acquaintances. We serve such an awesome God that He cares about friendships. The people that have impacted me the most have ended up to be my closest friends. People I can count on for prayer, accountability, encouragement, and rejoicing with me.  I thank the Lord for each of these ladies.

The first person I contacted when I was about halfway through my first novel was MaryLu Tyndall. I’d just finished reading her Pirate series and fell in love with her writing. I emailed her and to my surprise she emailed me right back. She was so sweet and I discovered a real person. LOL.  She recommended that I first join the ACFW, which I did and am so glad she gave me that advice. She and I emailed back and forth and she helped me really understand the ins and outs of getting published. She guided me in my writing, was a wonderful encourager and mentor. That relationship grew into a friendship. Through our friendship we began praying for each other’s family. She’s been a blessing to my life on so many levels.

I joined a critique group with the ACFW. It was supposed to be a group of 5. It ended up being a group of two. My crit partner Kathleen L. Maher is the second person who really helped me along the way. Being critique partners is just a small part of our relationship. We’ve become the closest of friends even though Kathy lives in New York and I live in South Carolina.  Kathy is not only great about going through my manuscripts with a fine tooth comb but she has been an awesome cheerleader, encourager, prayer partner and friend.  Together, she and I have started CROWN marketing and Fiction Addiction Fix Blog. I couldn’t have made it this far without her.

MaryLu recommended I hire Susan Lohrer. Well, Susan got more than she bargained for with me. My goodness, that woman is a saint! She edited my manuscript and I’d fix it, send it back to her, ask a million questions and she’d answer them all and edit what I sent back. I learned more from her than I did all my English teachers, high school and college. Susan has become a true friend. We even became grandma’s around the same time.  If you need a great editor I highly recommend Susan.

Linore Burkard and Melanie Dickerson were two of the next important people I met on my journey. We started doing some critiquing and reading for each other.  Three-way phone calls became a monthly thing as our critiquing grew to friendships. We shared our lives with each other on the phone. Shared our struggles with writing and life in general, had prayer time together and lifted each other up.  These two ladies have blessed my life in so many ways. Our friendship is precious to me. But they are also great prayer partners and women I can count on to lift me up and keep me accountable.

Laurie Alice Eakes is another lady that has taught me so much. It started with Laurie Alice answering so many of my questions on one of the loops we belonged to. That grew to her mentoring me and that mentorship grew into a wonderful friendship. She taught me how to polish my manuscripts and hopefully make them shine. She’s always there to answer my questions whether they are historical, grammar, or writing related like the time she emailed me and said, “Tell me you did not just kill the cat.” J I’m happy to say that the cat did make it, thanks to Laurie Alice.

Thanks to each of these ladies I am represented by another wonderful lady. Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency.


Thank You!
I am truly blessed!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Release Party for Heart's Safe Passage by Laurie Alice Eakes -Today's giveaway- A Personlized Embroidered Tote Bag filled with goodies Ends February 26th


Day 6 of our week long celebration here at The Sword and Spirit for Laurie Alice Eakes new release, A Heart's Safe Passage. Today we are giving away a personalized tote bag full of all kinds of goodies from coffee, tea, cookies candy to book light and kitty bookmarker. You still have time to enter in this whole week's giveaways! Just stop by and leave comments. 

Laurie Alice Eakes used to lie in bed as a child telling herself stories so she didn't wake anyone else up.  Sometimes she shared her stories with others; thus, when she decided to be a writer, she surprised no one. In the past three years, she has sold six books to Baker/Revell, five of which are set during the Regency time period, four books to Barbour Publishing, as well as two novellas to Barbour Publishing and one to Baker/Revell. Seven of her books have been picked up by Thorndike Press for large print publication, and Lady in the Mist, her first book with Revell, was chosen for hardcover publication with Crossings Bookclub. She also teaches on-line writing courses and enjoys a speaking ministry that has taken her from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast. Laurie Alice lives in Texas with her husband, two dogs and two cats, and is learning how to make tamales.
Reader Question: If you could live anywhere where would that be?

LAE Answer: In Virginia probably on the Piedmont halfway between the mountains and ocean. That state has it all: mountains, foothills, beach, not to mention four seasons with none too extreme.


Reader question: How long had you been writing before getting your first book contract?

LAE Answer: That’s a really tough question to answer. I had a lot of fits and starts, encouragement along the way from writers I met, and was even in writer organizations; however, I didn’t get serious until the late 1990s, and again took a hiatus to go to grad school… It’s convoluted and confusing, so I generally say about four years after I decided to write Christian fiction and take writing seriously.

Reader Question: Do you have much say in your book covers?

LAE Answer: With Baker/Revell, yes, I do. I fill out a cover sheet with a lot of data for the publisher and give them my ideas. So far, they have pretty much used my ideas. I’ve provided them with some pictures such as one of Tabitha’s Cloak that she’s wearing on the cover of Lady in the Mist. They run with my vague idea, and I ask for a few tweaks sometimes.

Reader Question: And with everything going on in your life at the time, how did your move go?

LAE Answer: Insanely. We moved back to Virginia, then that didn’t work out after all, so we moved back to Texas, took two weeks to find a place to live where my husband’s new job is located down here. And all the while I was editing and writing.

Reader Question: How are you able to work on two series at the same time without things getting jumbled in your mind?

LAE Answer: I’m a pretty organized writer, so this hasn’t been that much of a problem. The problem more enters in when I am in the middle of one book in one place and time, then have to read the galleys for the other and switch gears to another place and time. That makes me feel like I’m in an out-of-control time travel machine.

Reader Question: when is your favorite 'time' to write and where?

LAE Answer: Please forgive me, and I’m not sure if this is literally where and when I write, or the time period. Time period is pretty easy—Georgian England or early America. As for the other possible answer, I can write anywhere at any time from Starbucks, to my living room sofa, to my bright, sunny office.

Reader Question: Where do you get your ideas for your books? I know authors minds are 'busy' but can you nail down this series and how they came about?

LAE Answer: Let me refer you to Thursday’s post on this very subject, as I answer it at length.

Reader Question: are the two books, Lady in the Mist and Heart's Safe passage connected... characters, setting etc...?

LAE Answer: Yes. Phoebe, the heroine of Heart’s Safe Passage, is introduced and plays a minor, but important, role in Lady in the Mist. Dominick and Tabitha from LITM both have cameo appearances in Heart’s Safe Passage. The settings are not the same until the epilogue of HSP.

Reader Question: With the two Revell series well underway and probably finished (or all but) in the writing, what's next for you?

LAE Answer: That would be telling, Roseanna. Not ready to do so quite yet.

Reader Question: Do you do a lot of research for your historical novels? and where do you find most of your information?

LAE Answer: Yes, I do a great deal of research for my novels. My resources come from scholarly books, to original sources on Google Books and other places, to historical societies.

Reader Question: Do you have a favorite place to write, or a place you go to for inspiration?

LAE Answer: Funnily enough, not really. I’ve had to write in such crazy places, I have tried not to get attached to any one spot.

where do you start when researching a book? Do you at some point visit the place where the story takes place?

LAE Answer: Sadly, I don’t get to visit the places in which I write. I’ve been to New Jersey and Virginia, having lived in both states, and I did get to sail on the HMS Rose, which is an eighteenth century frigate, used as The Surprise in the movie Master and Commander, but haven’t yet made it to England. I just ask a lot of questions of people who have. The closest I’ve come is a visit to a printer’s shop in Colonial Williamsburg for “Printed on My Heart”, the novella in Highland Crossings, and Appalachia, where I also lived, the setting for Choices of the Heart, the third Midwives book coming out next year.

Reader Question: how much time do you spend on research before starting a new
novel?

LAE Answer: That depends on the book. I’ve spent anywhere from two days, to two months. I try to start researching one book while writing another.

Reader Question: Do you have a favorite character you have modeled from someone; you?

LAE Answer: My characters aren’t modeled after any one person. They are a combination of real human traits and emotions. As for favorite character, Dominick may still be my favorite hero. Not sure yet who is my favorite heroine. Probably Phoebe from Heart’s Safe Passage.

Reader Question: (In reference to Lady Lydia Gale) how did you get close enough to him to find him in prison?

LAE Answer: To answer that would be giving away the story. I’m afraid you’ll have to read A Necessary Deception to find out.

Reader Question: Someone asked about my favorite authors.

LAE Answer: This is one question I avoid answering because I have so many writer friends I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by leaving someone out, and leaving someone out seems inevitable. Authors who influenced me are Georgette Heyer, Patricia Veryan, Jane Aiken Hodge, and Jo Beverley. Yes, these are all secular authors. I started writing in the secular field, so was influenced in time and style before I started reading or writing Christian fiction. For anyone interested, Heyer, Veryan, and Hodge wrote squeaky clean books.

 Heart's Safe Passage
 It's 1813 and all Phoebe Lee wants out of life is to practice midwifery in Loudon County, Virginia. When Belinda, her pregnant sister-in-law, presses Phoebe to accompany her onto a British privateer in order to cross the Atlantic and save her husband from an English prison, Phoebe tries to refuse, then finds herself kidnapped.
Captain Rafe Docherty is a man in search of revenge. His ship is no place for women, but he needs Belinda in order to obtain information about the man who destroyed his family and his life. Between Belinda's whining and Phoebe's hostility, Rafe can't help but wonder if he made the right choice.
When it becomes apparent there is an enemy among them on the ship, the stakes are raised. Will they reach the English shore in time? Can love and forgiveness overcome vengeance?

 TODAY'S GIVEAWAY:


 Embroidered personalized tote bag filled with cookies, candy, tea, coffee, stainless travel cup, book light, kitty book mark and a few things that didn't make it into the picture.

DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.


Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday, January 26th. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Release Party for Heart's Safe Passage by Laurie Alice Eakes -Today's giveaway- A Personlized Embroidered Tote Bag filled with goodies Ends February 26th

Day 5 of our week long celebration here at The Sword and Spirit for Laurie Alice Eakes new release, A Heart's Safe Passage. Today we are giving away a personalized tote bag full of all kinds of goodies from coffee, tea, cookies candy to book light and kitty bookmarker. You will have today and tomorrow to enter as we had so many great questions that it is going to take 2 days to answer them! 

For an extra chance to win answer today's fun question: If your life where a book, what would the title be?

Laurie Alice Eakes used to lie in bed as a child telling herself stories so she didn't wake anyone else up.  Sometimes she shared her stories with others; thus, when she decided to be a writer, she surprised no one. In the past three years, she has sold six books to Baker/Revell, five of which are set during the Regency time period, four books to Barbour Publishing, as well as two novellas to Barbour Publishing and one to Baker/Revell. Seven of her books have been picked up by Thorndike Press for large print publication, and Lady in the Mist, her first book with Revell, was chosen for hardcover publication with Crossings Bookclub. She also teaches on-line writing courses and enjoys a speaking ministry that has taken her from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast. Laurie Alice lives in Texas with her husband, two dogs and two cats, and is learning how to make tamales.

 Answers to Your Questions
Reader Question: when did you first fall in love with this time period? And how did you get interested in the seafaring of that age?

LAE Answer: The War of 1812 always interested me from the time I learned of it in school, maybe eighth grade. We shouldn’t have won. That’s the bottom line. But we got everything we wanted in the treaty. It’s a wonderful demonstration of the true American spirit. Of course, we got a lot of War of 1812 history in state history, too, since I grew up in Michigan, which became part of the U.S. territories from that war.

As for the seafaring, that is due to Kenneth Roberts’ book The Lively Lady. He depicts the life of privateering and then being in an English prisoner through the eyes of a young man in love with an English woman. . . Fabulous book I reread about every five years. The privateers helped us win that war; we crippled the English merchant fleet.

Reader Question: What do you consider some of your favorite go-to historical research books or on-line sources?

LAE Answer: Google Books has been a true godsend. The wealth of original sources there has been invaluable to me from descriptions of how to perform, right down to the special instrument used, in a bit of surgery we have here in Heart’s Safe Passage, to chemistry and first-hand accounts of incidents the ballooning stuff I found for my upcoming Regency A Flight of Fancy, to phrase and word usage in context from different time periods. Nowadays, I go there first for research. I also love the Domesday Book, which is on-line, for names for English people. I also have some on-line phrase sites marked for Scottish, Welsh, or Cornish  words, and have a wealth of books in my personal library, a few very old ones on the U.S. and British navies. I also love sites like etymonline.com for word origins.

Reader Question: how do you come up with such deep, interesting characters? Do you use character charts? Personality charts? Or do you take them from real life experience?

LAE Answer: The simple answer to this is yes. LOL I use a combination of personality charts like the Myers Briggs descriptions, to birth order stuff, to charts to keep basic stuff together, to personal experience. I read a lot of books on psychology and the criminal mind. True crime books. My husband says I’m scary reading about that stuff. I have read books on grief and parenting. And, yes, some of my knowledge comes from personal experience. When writing this book, I found myself emotionally drained a few days.

Reader Question: When did you get your first book published? Did you 'publish' the stories you used to tell yourself?

LAE Answer: In 1999-2001, I had three secular books published by small presses. They got great reviews and didn’t sell badly for e-books of the day. But the Lord convicted me, and I pulled them from sale and started concentrating on writing Christian fiction. I was in grad school at the time, so didn’t get to work on it until 2003 after I graduated. God handed me an agent, Tamela Murray of the Steve Laube agency. The way that happened, that’s the only way to put it. Ironically, my first traditional sale in late 2005 was to a secular publisher, but it was a traditional Regency and squeaky clean. My first Christian  sale was in early 2007 and was to Heartsong Presents. This was a special sale for me and a whole other story as to why.

Reader Question: One of my life-long themes is beyond forgiveness... Loving others who have hurt us. Why is this theme important for you in the book?

LAE Answer: My husband and I were just discussing how we humans seem to be hard-wired to need someone to pay for wrongs before we can experience or give true forgiveness. If it isn’t someone else, then it’s ourselves we need to punish. God required atonement for forgiveness, too, and then provided the means for that atonement through His son. Until we humans figure that out, we suffer and, too often, make others suffer. So, after that mini sermon, the answer to your question is that this is an important theme to me because even if one person reads this book and figures out that holding grudges only hurts oneself and the people around us, but not necessarily the one we think deserves to pay, then all the effort is worth it.

Reader Question: What made you choose that time period?

LAE Answer: For one thing, after this time period, life aboard a ship just grows boring. This was the end of the true swashbuckling age. I also like to put opposites together, plus put my characters into wholly unfamiliar environments and see how they grow and change, so having a time when the Americans and English are at war just seems right. I have a lot of hero from one country and heroine from another stories. The Glassblower. Family Guardian, Lady in the Mist. A Necessary Deception, Heart’s Safe Passage. The third Regency for Revell will, too, but that book doesn’t have a title yet. It isn’t even written yet. I just know who my hero is.

Reader Question: How do you pick or decide what to name your H & H?

LAE Answer: I agonize over names. Many sources come under my fingertips as I work on just the right sound and meaning and appropriateness for the time period. Example, one learns that aristocrats and laborers didn’t name their children the same kinds of names. Country of origin is important, too. I use county records. A weird thing about Tabitha Eckles in Lady in the Mist, I picked her first name, as it just seemed right, my editor wanted the surname I’d picked changed, so I chose another from the county surname records for the Eastern Shore, and discovered later that Tabitha was a commonly used name for that surname. I also learned that Eckles is a derivation of my own surname, Eakes.
  

Heart's Safe Passage
 It's 1813 and all Phoebe Lee wants out of life is to practice midwifery in Loudon County, Virginia. When Belinda, her pregnant sister-in-law, presses Phoebe to accompany her onto a British privateer in order to cross the Atlantic and save her husband from an English prison, Phoebe tries to refuse, then finds herself kidnapped.
Captain Rafe Docherty is a man in search of revenge. His ship is no place for women, but he needs Belinda in order to obtain information about the man who destroyed his family and his life. Between Belinda's whining and Phoebe's hostility, Rafe can't help but wonder if he made the right choice.
When it becomes apparent there is an enemy among them on the ship, the stakes are raised. Will they reach the English shore in time? Can love and forgiveness overcome vengeance?

Today's Giveaway:

 Embroidered personalized tote bag filled with cookies, candy, tea, coffee, stainless travel cup, book light, kitty book mark and a few things that didn't make it into the picture.
  



  DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.


Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday, January 26th. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Release Party for Heart's Safe Passage by Laurie Alice Eakes -Today's giveaway- A Necessary Deception Ends February 26th

Day 4 of our week long celebration here at The Sword and Spirit for Laurie Alice Eakes new release, A Heart's Safe Passage. Today we are giving away a copy of her book, A Necessary Deception. For an extra chance to win ask Laurie Alice a question. Come back tomorrow  to read her answers to the questions. We will be giving prizes away all week long so be sure to check in each day or go back and read days you missed the drawings aren't until midnight Sunday.

 Laurie Alice Eakes used to lie in bed as a child telling herself stories so she didn't wake anyone else up.  Sometimes she shared her stories with others; thus, when she decided to be a writer, she surprised no one. In the past three years, she has sold six books to Baker/Revell, five of which are set during the Regency time period, four books to Barbour Publishing, as well as two novellas to Barbour Publishing and one to Baker/Revell. Seven of her books have been picked up by Thorndike Press for large print publication, and Lady in the Mist, her first book with Revell, was chosen for hardcover publication with Crossings Bookclub. She also teaches on-line writing courses and enjoys a speaking ministry that has taken her from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast. Laurie Alice lives in Texas with her husband, two dogs and two cats, and is learning how to make tamales.

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?
This is the question I am asked about being a writer, more than any other. The answer isn’t the 30-second elevator speech answer I know people want. It’s complex enough I decided to answer it here.
The simple, unsatisfying to others, and less than 30-second elevator speech guaranteed to kill a conversation answer is: I haven’t a clue.
It’s also not totally accurate. It’s not untrue, just not all of the truth.

The Rest of the Truth
I love to read history books. Especially if the subject isn’t quite the norm, I enjoy the book—Seafaring Women, Pets in America, No Idle Hands (the history of knitting in America—to name a few I’ve read in the past couple of years. I’ve been doing this for about. . . Well, I’ve been doing this since I was probably ten or eleven years old.
So I went to graduate school for history with some vague idea of being a history academic. A couple weeks in academia and I didn’t think I wanted to be an academic for reasons I won’t get into here, and I was sort of committed, so plowed on with my first research project.
Being a fairly bright student, I combined my research methods course with my History of Medicine course. Why duplicate work? Two different projects—same research. I’d just read Martha Ballard’s Journal, the writings of an eighteenth century midwife, plus I’d worked in a chiropractic office, where we rented space to a midwife, too.
To the library I went and began to dig up everything I could find, borrow, and Interlibrary loan on midwifery in history. And it was a great deal, from contemporary analysis, to original documents in the form of books written for midwives as far back as the seventeenth century. Really, really awesome stuff. These weren’t your average second-class citizen women. They went to court when few women ever testified. They could go out at night when others had a curfew in many places. They made very comfortable incomes for themselves. When they died, the newspapers wrote glowing obituaries about them and their service to the community. . .
I was entranced.
When a sudden illness left me out of commission for four days, I had a lot of time to think. I picked up writing implements and began to jot down notes, fragments of a scene here, another one there. A midwife with her responsibilities to the parish, required to find out who was the father of an illegitimate baby because women in labor were thought not to lie like dying people. Hmm. What if that father was someone important. . .

I didn’t write that book for another ten years, but it ended up Lady in the Mist, the first midwife book. Heart’s Safe Passage came from a couple of paragraphs in Seafaring Women, which mentioned a midwife who went to sea with her patients. . .

The Truth
Although snippets of information, or whole tons of information, trigger ideas for stories, I have no clue why those readings trigger story plans. Others read history books and don’t go off and write novels.
And then we have to consider that books like Choices of the Heart, my third midwife book out next February, didn’t have an historical trigger. I just started playing the what-if game. What if Tabitha (Lady in the Mist) has a daughter after many boys, when she longs for a daughter to be a midwife, and Esther doesn’t want to be a midwife? Why doesn’t she want to be one? What has happened to her? What kind of parents are Tabitha and Dominick? What if she’s as gorgeous as her daddy and a wee bit spoiled, yet. . .
And so it goes. Just when I wonder how I will ever come up with story, I wake up in the middle of the night, and there’s a whole new series brewing in my brain.

Do you write or want to write? Where do you get your ideas? What sorts of stories would you like to see more of?

 Heart's Safe Passage
 It's 1813 and all Phoebe Lee wants out of life is to practice midwifery in Loudon County, Virginia. When Belinda, her pregnant sister-in-law, presses Phoebe to accompany her onto a British privateer in order to cross the Atlantic and save her husband from an English prison, Phoebe tries to refuse, then finds herself kidnapped.
Captain Rafe Docherty is a man in search of revenge. His ship is no place for women, but he needs Belinda in order to obtain information about the man who destroyed his family and his life. Between Belinda's whining and Phoebe's hostility, Rafe can't help but wonder if he made the right choice.
When it becomes apparent there is an enemy among them on the ship, the stakes are raised. Will they reach the English shore in time? Can love and forgiveness overcome vengeance?

Todays Giveaway:

 
When young widow Lady Lydia Gale helps a French prisoner obtain parole, she never dreamed he would turn up in her parlor. But just as the London Season is getting under way, there he is, along with a few other questionable personages. While she should be focused on helping her headstrong younger sister prepare for her entré into London society, Lady Gale finds herself preoccupied with the mysterious Frenchman. Is he a spy or a suitor? Can she trust him? Or is she putting her family in danger?
 


DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.

Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday, January 26th. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Release Party for Heart's Safe Passage by Laurie Alice Eakes -Today's giveaway- $25 B&N Gift Card Ends February 26th

We are having a week long celebration here at The Sword and Spirit for Laurie Alice Eakes new release, A Heart's Safe Passage. Today we are giving away a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble. 
For an extra chance to win ask Laurie Alice a question. Come back Friday to read her answers to the questions. We will be giving prizes away all week long so be sure to check in each day. 

Laurie Alice Eakes used to lie in bed as a child telling herself stories so she didn't wake anyone else up.  Sometimes she shared her stories with others; thus, when she decided to be a writer, she surprised no one. In the past three years, she has sold six books to Baker/Revell, five of which are set during the Regency time period, four books to Barbour Publishing, as well as two novellas to Barbour Publishing and one to Baker/Revell. Seven of her books have been picked up by Thorndike Press for large print publication, and Lady in the Mist, her first book with Revell, was chosen for hardcover publication with Crossings Bookclub. She also teaches on-line writing courses and enjoys a speaking ministry that has taken her from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast. Laurie Alice lives in Texas with her husband, two dogs and two cats, and is learning how to make tamales.


 Lady in the Mist


Today, I was going to discuss how Lady in the Mist came into being. That, however, comes up in tomorrow’s post on where I get my ideas; thus, for today, I am going to give you a bit of my writing testimony.
In 2009, my writing career was finally going somewhere. I had sold six books, two to Avalon and four to Heartsong Presents (Barbour Publishing). But, of course, being a writer, I wanted more. I wanted to write big, lush, panoramic, mainstream books. And I thought it would never happen. Big book publishers like Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Baker, which includes Revell and Bethany, had always been the dream since I started writing Christian fiction. It just wouldn’t happen.
Yet that midwife idea I’d had for ten years and started to brainstorm with my critique partners the previous year before selling more books to Avalon and Heartsong, was burning a hole in my computer.
So I finished up my first book I had to write for Barbour, The Glassblower, and before starting on the second, The Heiress, decided to turn out a proposal.
And this one I did in proper form, the way my writing thesis adviser had showed me to do—I outlined every scene ahead of time. I did the character sketches. I knew this story nearly inside and out. That done, I wrote three chapters. They flowed from my keyboard as first chapters rarely do for me. The vague image of a woman walking along the beach through a misty morning and encountering a charming stranger, wasn’t in the least misty to my creative mind.
On March 31, 2009, with lots of prayers and anxious heart anyway, I sent the proposal to my agent. On April 1, she called and said something like, “this is going to sell.”
Three weeks later, she called to tell me that the editor from Revell was taking the proposal to committee.
I’d gotten to committee before with a big book publisher, but not Revell. Those had been form rejections. This time. . . Let’s just say I’m not sure I breathed for about four minutes.
But of course I had to wait for the committee to meet. May 12, I think it was. Somewhere that week.
It was a crazy week. My husband was graduating from law school that weekend. Relatives were coming in from out of town. I had a party to get ready and people to entertain. Probably good. It kept me from thinking too much about it.

But of course I did. And I heard nothing. I figured the answer was no. Alas. Well, maybe someone else.
Yet my heart cried. I’d been so sure this was it, the big break we all wanted. We were moving across country in two months and I was more than a little scared. I needed some kind of boost, reassurance. My husband and I prayed for strength for our future and guidance and the right thing to happen for both of us, him in his new career, mine in my, as a writer, always shaky career.
We came home from my husband’s party and there it was—voice-mail from my agent. Yes, Revell wanted what became Lady in the Mist, the first book in the midwives series.
I’ve always thought that when people say don’t give up on your dreams they are being trite and a little New Agey. Yet here I am, living proof that holding onto one’s dreams and taking the steps to keep them flowing, is not at all trite.
Do you have a dream you sometimes think you should give up on? What steps have you taken to help that dream come true?

Heart's Safe Passage
It's 1813 and all Phoebe Lee wants out of life is to practice midwifery in Loudon County, Virginia. When Belinda, her pregnant sister-in-law, presses Phoebe to accompany her onto a British privateer in order to cross the Atlantic and save her husband from an English prison, Phoebe tries to refuse, then finds herself kidnapped.
Captain Rafe Docherty is a man in search of revenge. His ship is no place for women, but he needs Belinda in order to obtain information about the man who destroyed his family and his life. Between Belinda's whining and Phoebe's hostility, Rafe can't help but wonder if he made the right choice.
When it becomes apparent there is an enemy among them on the ship, the stakes are raised. Will they reach the English shore in time? Can love and forgiveness overcome vengeance?

Today's giveaway:

$25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card! 
For an extra chance to win ask Laurie Alice a question. It can be about her writing, writing in general, one of her characters, her books, you name it. Come back Friday when she'll answer those questions.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Release Party for Heart's Safe Passage by Laurie Alice Eakes -Today's giveaway- "Lady in the Mist" Ends February 26th

We are having a week long celebration here at The Sword and Spirit for Laurie Alice Eakes new release, A Heart's Safe Passage. Today we are giving away a copy of her first midwife book, Lady in the Mist.  
I have a question for you today. In  A Heart's Safe Passage, Phoebe gets rather attached to Rafe's cloak. What is your favorite material item that you own? (examples: Ipod, grandmother's rocking chair, Gone with the Wind book)  And don't forget for an extra chance to win ask Laurie Alice a question. Come back Friday to read her answers to the questions. We will be giving prizes away all week long so be sure to check in each day. 

Laurie Alice Eakes used to lie in bed as a child telling herself stories so she didn't wake anyone else up.  Sometimes she shared her stories with others; thus, when she decided to be a writer, she surprised no one. In the past three years, she has sold six books to Baker/Revell, five of which are set during the Regency time period, four books to Barbour Publishing, as well as two novellas to Barbour Publishing and one to Baker/Revell. Seven of her books have been picked up by Thorndike Press for large print publication, and Lady in the Mist, her first book with Revell, was chosen for hardcover publication with Crossings Bookclub. She also teaches on-line writing courses and enjoys a speaking ministry that has taken her from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast. Laurie Alice lives in Texas with her husband, two dogs and two cats, and is learning how to make tamales.

 EXCERPT FROM HEARTS SAFE PASSAGE
“Hush now.” He stopped her words with his lips this time, a swift brush of contact. “Go to your bed. I have no more patience for talk of true faith. My thoughts are straying elsewhere to how a man achieves forgetfulness.”
             He didn’t wait for her to respond. He stepped around her and strode off to the main hatch. He would sleep belowdecks with most of the crew and let Jordy have his cabin back—a mere bulkhead from the ladies. Rafe needed rest.
Five minutes in his hammock told him he wouldn’t get it. Even those brief words to Phoebe conjured the images, the sounds, even the essence of tar and sea, sweat and blood, and worse, so much worse. Every time he closed his eyes, Davina’s sweet face swam behind his lids. She’d cried out for him to save her at first. Then she gave up on her husband and called on God, begged Him to take her, to forgive her. There, beneath the laughing, taunting corsairs, she had told Rafe she loved him.
Finally, the beautiful wife he’d adored for what felt like all his life had met his stare and admitted she loved him. He’d waited for her to say that for nearly four years of marriage, and it came too late to give him solace.
It contributed to his anger against the man responsible for her death.
He wished in those moments that he were a drinking man for the sake of forgetfulness in the loneliness of the night. But he’d seen what alcohol did to men, destroying their minds and willingness to work. He’d tried at first, but Mel needed him. He couldn’t loll in a drunken stupor when his baby daughter cried in the night for her mama.
The company of women worked better. Not the sort who made a living on the docks, but women with breeding and education, who could talk and listen too. But they wanted marriage. He couldn’t blame them. It was only right, the upright man he’d once been reminded him. But he could not make that kind of commitment until everyone responsible for the deaths of his wife and parents was gone to their reward.
And then what decent woman would want him, a man with blood on his hands, even if most of it had flowed from the enemies of his country as he killed in the name of serving his king? More truthfully, his actions stemmed from killing in the name of lining his pockets to seek out and destroy his personal enemies.
“Ah, but you are a despicable man.” He spoke to the man his mind conjured, his own image poised on the quarterdeck with Phoebe. “I did not deserve her tears.”
Or her prayers. Yet he knew she prayed for him. As though he heard her voice, saw her person, he knew she knelt in his cabin and cried out to God for his sake.
“Do not waste your time with the Lord, mo ghraigh ” The endearment of ‘my darling’ slipped out unbidden, unwanted, perhaps too much the truth.. “He does not waste His time with me.”
But Rafe could waste a great deal of time with Phoebe.
Aching like a man with an ague, he rolled out of the hammock and returned to the deck. He couldn’t pace and keep others awake. The cutter and lights of the town lured him. What harm lay in a few hours of surcease, breaking his personal code amongst the lights, liquor, and ladies of the night? It was the least of his sins, so numerous a few more would make no difference in his eternity.
He strode aft to the boat—and found Phoebe waiting for him at the rail.
At the sight of her, calm and still save for the breeze flirting with her gown and the fringe of her shawl, a warmth kindled inside him, a sensation he hadn’t experienced for so long he barely recognized it for what it was—joy.
He feared it more than any enemy he’d met over the hilt of a sword.

###

Phoebe watched Rafe approach, his strides long and easy, his hair lifting in the breeze above broad shoulders set with an easy straightness one saw in a man of self-confidence. And it was all posturing from Rafe Docherty. His outward calm and assurance hid a soul ravaged by grief and hatred, yet aching for love and full of honor and kindness.
She hadn’t wondered what interrupted her prayers for him and urged her to return to the deck, to slip past the men on watch and wait by the rail. She knew. She’d urged him to bring up the past, to talk of his loss and the horrors vivid despite the few words he used to describe them. A body didn’t sleep after an episode like that. She knew from the night she’d finally spilled the contents of her heart to Tabitha and Dominick, who then stayed up with her as she wept for the first time in a year, held her, loved her, assured her that God didn’t hold grudges. If anyone should understand that, it was Dominick Cherrett.
So she waited for Rafe, determined to go with him no matter what direction he chose. If he never came, she would sleep on the deck. But he would come, and he did, a formidable shadow gliding across the planks to where she stood.
He grasped her hands. “What are you doing here?”
“Waiting for you.” Despite the warmth of the night, her hands felt cold against the warmth of his, cold and tiny within his encircling clasp. “I thought you might not be able to sleep.”
“Does your training extend to predictions of the future then?” His grip tightened. His upper lip curled. “Or is that your faith?”
“Not my training, the prompting of the Lord.” She smiled.
He snorted. “Do you intend to come to the fleshpots of the town then?”
“If that’s what you want.”
“Why would I want such a thing as that?”
“The fleshpots of the town, I don’t know. I’d think a sick head and risk of disease in the morning would be a deterrent. As for my company?” She shrugged. “I’m better than the sort you’ll find in St. George’s.”
He stared at her for a moment, his eyes silver in the moonlight. “You’re a strange lass to be so bold in your speech.”
“It’s been my best defense against matchmaking mothers. They come to think that having my fortune and family connections for their sons might not be worth the embarrassment of a daughter-in-law who speaks outright of things ladies aren’t supposed to understand.”
“Aye, I can see that it would.” He tilted his head and surveyed her through thick, dark lashes. “Are you rich then?”

Heart's Safe Passage
 It's 1813 and all Phoebe Lee wants out of life is to practice midwifery in Loudon County, Virginia. When Belinda, her pregnant sister-in-law, presses Phoebe to accompany her onto a British privateer in order to cross the Atlantic and save her husband from an English prison, Phoebe tries to refuse, then finds herself kidnapped.
Captain Rafe Docherty is a man in search of revenge. His ship is no place for women, but he needs Belinda in order to obtain information about the man who destroyed his family and his life. Between Belinda's whining and Phoebe's hostility, Rafe can't help but wonder if he made the right choice.
When it becomes apparent there is an enemy among them on the ship, the stakes are raised. Will they reach the English shore in time? Can love and forgiveness overcome vengeance?

  
 TODAY'S GIVEAWAY
By virtue of her profession as a midwife, Tabitha Eckles is the keeper of many secrets: the names of fathers of illegitimate children, the level of love and harmony within many a marriage, and now the identity of a man who may have caused his wife's death. Dominick Cherrett is a man with his own secret to keep: namely, what he, a British nobleman, is doing on American soil working as a bondsman in the home of Mayor Kendall, a Southern gentleman with his eye on a higher office.

By chance one morning before the dawn has broken, Tabitha and Dominick cross paths on a misty beachhead, leading them on a twisted path through kidnappings, death threats, public disgrace, and . . . love? Can Tabitha trust Dominick? What might he be hiding? And can either of them find true love in a world that seems set against them?


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