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 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.


  1. So exciting! I thoroughly love this book AND Laurie. What a sweetheart and wealth of history info, she is! :) I subscribed through Feedburner too - great blog!! :)

  2. Great answers, Laurie! I think you're the one who turned me onto Google books for research. I love it! Also, I never thought of reading books on crime to help develop plots and villains. My daughter loves books on serial killers but their demented mindset gives me the willies.
    Laurie, you are so generous with your time and information for other writers! What a blessing you are!

    1. She did me too! I LOVE google books. I go there first on 90% of my research.

  3. Laurie, small world. I used to put myself to sleep with my own bedtime stories too, and one of my earliest stories was about a pirate ship. :o)

    I enjoyed Lady in the Mist, and I'm sure Heart's Safe Passage is as well-written.


  4. I have never read one of Laurie's books, but it sounds like a good book and I enjoyed getting to know you a little better Laurie through the Q&A's above. I am following your blog and on feedburner and ask that you please sign me up for the giveaway. I would enjoy reading this book by Laurie. Thank you!

    God's Blessings,


    1. OH my goodness, Lori. Treat yourself and get one of Laurie Alice's books. You'll be glad you did! I have just a few favorite authors but she is one of them!

  5. Hi, Debbie and Laurie! I thought I'd stop in to enjoy more cake and to read Laurie's answers. Always fun!

    1. Thanks Gina! I love to see your smiling face on here! And I love being able to eat cake every day and not gain weight! lol

  6. I'm loving Google Books for research, also. I recently stumbled over a 1901 edition of Motors and Motor-Driving in a thrift shop--a gold mine for my novel. But the price tag was marked $125. Yikes. Went home to my computer and found it free on Google Books and even downloaded it to my Kindle. Sweet! I'd love to be entered in the drawing. I signed up through Feedburner, also. Oh--and as an aspiring writer, the title of my life would be "Waiting...and waiting some more."


    1. LOL! It seems like half of our lives we are waiting for something doesn't it?

  7. Thank you all for stopping by. It's been fun this week.

  8. I've really enjoyed the party this week! And Laurie, I will be knocking on your inbox door here in a couple weeks to ask you for the titles of your favorite research books for seafaring in the 1812 era--need to start research on my second Culper book as soon as I finish up my WIP. =)

    As for a title of my life story . . . probably something like "Looking for Rainbows" to reflect my eternal optimism. =)

    1. Heehee Roseanna you sound like me. I'm the optimist, hubby is the pessimist though he says he is a realist. hmmm I'm starting to believe him...not good.

    2. All the pessimists call themselves realists, Debbie Lynne, LOL. My hubby's the same way. =)

  9. Hi Laurie Alice and Debbie,
    I'm stopping by from HisWriters. Thanks for such an interesting blog, and best wishes on A Heart's Safe Passage. Sincere congrats for your continued success.

  10. Congratulations on your new release Laurie Alice. May God bless your writing.


  11. This is a great interview! I love all reader questions. I haven't read any of Laurie's books but would love to read this one!
    I'm a follower through feedburner.


  12. Josie, Jodie, and Anne, thanks for stopping by! Good luck on the drawing.

  13. What great prizes. I would love to win. My name is Angela and I am from KY

  14. Oh, I loved the Q & A with the readers! What an awesome week and I'm hoping to dig into Heart's Safe Passage this week :)

    I'm a follower by Feedburner :)

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

  15. Great insights on your writing, Laurie Alice! I love that you read books on psychology and birth order to help understand your characters better. Whatever you're doing is working! I also love your heroine's name and that her surname is derived from your surname. Great stuff! Please enter me in the contest, Debbie Lynne. I'd love to win that tote!

  16. Hi, loved reading the interview. I'd like to be entered to win this great prize. God bless, Sherri sherri5 at pa dot net

  17. Debbie Lynne's personlized things are wonderful. You can also still coment on the other days for chances to win the other prizes.

    This has been a great experience. I loved answering reader questions. Always feel free to contact me through my web form on my web site. I answer all e-mails.

  18. The Unexpected Journey

    cllane2 (at) liberty (dot) edu

  19. What a great interview and a great giveaway. Thank you for the opportunity of entering me in the giveaway.


  20. What a great interview!
    The title of my book would have to be ONLY WITH GOD.
    Thanks for the fun giveaway