Lady in the Mist, The Midwives Series #1Lady in the Mist, The Midwives Series #1
Laurie Alice Eakes
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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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Laurie Alice EakesMidwives' historic role in society began to fascinate Laurie Alice Eakes in graduate school. Before she was serious about writing fiction, she knew she wanted to write novels with midwife heroines. Ten years, several published novels, four relocations, and a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency later, the midwives idea returned, and Lady in the Mist was born. Now she writes full time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats.

 

 Our Interview with Laurie Alice Eakes


 

What is your favorite Bible verse?

It’s actually three verses that are integral to one another.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:37-39 NIV

How did you get started writing Christian fiction?

I was in graduate school working on my master’s degree in writing popular fiction. Secular fiction. But the Lord had been drawing me back to Him by the slow degrees He knew I needed. On September 16, 2001, the choir was singing “Here I Am, Lord, Send Me” by Daniel Schutte, and I knew I had to stop writing secular and write Christian fiction, write for people like me, who knew the Lord and fell away for various reasons. I didn’t actually get started for three more years, but that was when I knew.

How did you come up with the concept for Lady in the Mist?

When I was in graduate school for history—hmm, I see a pattern here—I focused on women’s history in Early Modern Europe. My first major project was on midwives. They held a special place in society, and I knew I would write a novel—or three—about them one day. All I had in my head were vague scenes. One was clear, though—a woman walking along a misty beach after a lying-in (delivery) and something happening to her. I began the “What if” game and the story blossomed.

How much of Lady in the Mist is factual?

Most of the midwife issues are factual. Everyone in the story is fictitious and so are the actual events; The history is within the realm of possibility for midwives and the other events of the story. One fact is clear—the British were abducting our sailors for their own ships, which led to the War of 1812.

How closely is Lady in the Mist based on your life experiences? 

Much of the personal issues, especially ones dealing with self-forgiveness, have come from life experience. Realizing that God loves me no matter what is a difficult, yet freeing concept for me to grasp.

How long did Lady in the Mist take you to complete?

I was so focused, I wrote it in four months. The story caught hold of me, and I wrote as much as 7,000 words in one day, a personal record.

Do you have a favorite character in Lady in the Mist? Why?

I confess I am rather fond of the hero. I love my heroine. She is strong and smart and kind—all those things I’d like to be—but the hero charmed me from the beginning. Not to mention I related strongly to his spiritual issues.

 

How much research did Lady in the Mist take?

The research was extensive. Fortunately, I still had my notes and papers from grad school to call upon. Research came from many original documents like obituaries for midwives and court records and books written for midwives from as far back as the seventeenth century.

What was the most interesting tidbit that you learned while writing Lady in the Mist?

That midwives testified in court. Women did not, as a rule, testify in court, but midwives did as a matter of course in their work. They were also exempted from other social rules like being out after dark as women without being accosted or thought loose. My paper I wrote in school and delivered at a history conference is called “Women of Power” because that’s what they were.


What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

I love writing, so I often feel guilty when I’m home and laundry needs done but I’m off writing. It’s my job, so I shouldn’t, but I want my family to come first, too, so finding that balance can be difficult. It is an isolating profession for the most part, too, so I have to find ways to connect with people  besides on Facebook.

What was your favorite book(s) as a child?

The Secret Garden. It’s such a wonderful story of emotional healing and friendship and new life parts are still vivid in my mind though I  haven’t read it in…many, many years.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

Besides not having to go to an office? I love creating, building worlds and characters and stories of love and adventure. I love creating wounded people and helping them to heal knowing that people will read it and find healing themselves.

What is your writing style?   (Do you outline?  Write “by-the-seat-of-your-pants?   Or somewhere in-between?)

I outline, then stay open-minded for the spirit to move me to change points if I must. Lady in the Mist sticks to my original outline with a few embellishments.

Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?

Absolutely. If they don’t, I go back and start working on them again.

What other new projects do you have on the horizon?  

I am writing two more midwife books for Revell, as well as three Regency romances.

What message would you like your readers to take from Lady in the Mist?

God loves you no matter what you have done. His forgiveness is boundless.

What is your greatest achievement?

Possibly signing contracts for thirteen books in thirteen months. I knew then I had reached a life goal I’d wanted since I was about ten—I was a professional writer.


What is your goal or mission as a writer?

To entertain while showing the love, forgiveness, and abundant joy we receive from walking close to the Lord.

What do you do to get away from it all?

I love to go to the beach, especially with my husband.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Lady in the Mist, like so many historical romances, is more than a love story between Tabitha and Dominick; more than a romantic suspense story about the adventures that draw them into intrigue. I bring together two worlds—what was called the Old World and what was called the New World—Europe and America. Through this, I have created an allegory of the human condition, of our old lives and our new lives, of past and present, of apprehension and hope—or whatever the reader sees beyond this simple explanation. It is the story of my heart that came to life after ten years of lying dormant in my brain, awaiting the day when the Lord had readied me to tell it.

 

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