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.


  1. Laurie, Do you have a favorite place to write, or a place you go to for inspiration?

    I am following!

    This books sounds really good!



    1. That's a great question, Jen. I haven't seen anyone ask that yet.

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

    I am a follower of the blog.

    1. I love your thought. I think it should be a requirement for my books. I'll tell hubby. LOL. Let's see I think I want to set one in Scotland, one in England... ;o) But being serious I don't know about Laurie Alice, but I do try to visit where I set my books. And when on vacation if I think I might want to set a story some place nearby we do try to get there.

  3. Laurie, how much time do you spend on research before starting a new novel? "A Necessary Deception" is on my wishlist! Thanks for the opportunity to win! I follow via feed burner email subscription. :-)


    1. I loved A Necessary Deception. I do enjoy intrigue in a book I'm reading and Laurie Alice is a master at it.

  4. This book sounds really good!
    I follow through Feedburner.

  5. I follow through Feedburner as well!

  6. Thank you for stopping by and for your questions. Come by tomorrow and read the answers to these and many others. This is fun.

    So glad you are interested in A Necessary Deception. I so wanted to write Regency for the Christian market, and it just didn't seem like it would happen. Goes to show never give up on what you want.

  7. Laurie,

    Who are some of your 'favourite' authors?

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  8. I am following through FeedBurner to receive e-mail post notices

  9. Interesting post. I also love to ask writers about their writing habits, and the answers are as diverse as titles in your library. Some authors cut out articles or news clippings on anything that strikes them as fascinating or stimulates a story idea, filing it for later. I once asked mystery writer John Lutz a question, and as he was writing the reply he got a story idea about a researcher who seemingly inocently contacts different authors but in reality has nefarious motives.

  10. Do you have a favorite character you have modeled from someone; you?

  11. "Lady Lydia Gale helps a French prisoner obtain parole,..."
    My question is, how did you get close enough to him to find him in prison?

  12. Ooh, "A Necessary Deception" sounds great --and another wonderful book cover!

    A question ... hmm ... Are you allowed talk about what you'll be writing next --current projects or future plans?

    Thanks again for the chance to win!