Tuesday, October 04, 2016

THE HONORABLE HEIR - Laurie Alice Eakes - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I’ve known Laurie Alice Eakes for decades. We were in a Heartsong Presents novel series together. Lisa Harris was the third author. They were set in Iowa after the Civil War. Later the three books were released as a collection Wild Prairie Roses. I have loved Laurie Alice’s novels since then.

She has recently relocated to a cold climate because she is weird enough to like snow and icy lake water. When she isn’t basking in the glory of being cold, she likes to read, visit museums, and take long walks, preferably with her husband, though the cats make her feel guilty every time she leaves the house.

Welcome back, Laurie Alice. How did this book come about?
A couple of years ago, some ladies wanted to write a group series with Tuxedo Park, New York as the setting. The Tuxedo Club was an exclusive gated community built for the rich people of New York. It’s a pretty spectacular place, or was at the time. The father of Emily Post, the author of Etiquette, was the main architect on the project.

Tell us about the book’s cover and what makes it unique.
Waterfall creates some truly beautiful covers. This depicts my heroine as a woman between mourning for her husband and breaking back into society. She is headed for a ball in the lovely Tuxedo Park clubhouse.

Please explain and differentiate between what’s fact and fiction in the book.
What’s fact? The setting. The gated community, the clubhouse, the annual autumn ball, the December charity tea are all real places and events. The tennis club and skating on the lake, including the use of skating chairs, are also real. That Emily Post drove down to the train station every day to pick up her husband, who was usually not on the train, is from her biography. The person mentioned who doesn’t have a telephone was a real resident without a telephone. That people were beginning to call for invitations is real, and the way Thanksgiving was celebrated happened. Thanksgiving at this time was state by state and not yet a national holiday.

Fiction: The events of the story other than those mentioned above, are not true to my knowledge.

How much research did you have to do for this book?
I researched a great deal for this book, from reading all of Emily Post’s original version of Etiquette, to books on the houses of the Tuxedo Club, to a biography of Emily Post, who grew up and then resided in the Tuxedo Club well into her adulthood, to a book called To Marry an English Lord. Then I had to read up on the dress of the day, the Boer War, which effected the hero, and other details like that. I loved reading about ice skating at the turn of the century, including the skating chairs. Very weird contraptions.

What are some of the most interesting things you found about this subject that you weren’t able to use in the story?
Most of what I read couldn’t possibly make place in the story, of course, and I touched on as many things as I could to give an authentic flavor of the time and place and people.

What inspired and surprised you while you were writing the book?
I was surprised how interesting Etiquette was to read. One would think a book on manners would be boring, and it wasn’t in the least. Mrs. Post had a great sense of humor and sense of irony and a wonderful way with words. She wrote novels, which I didn’t know. One day I will read them.

What do you hope the reader takes away from the story?
The understanding that one can put the past behind and begin a new life. It may take work and changed behavior, and mistakes can be gotten over.

What is the next project you’re working on?
I have another book coming out in November, My Enemy, My Heart, a long historical with an American heroine trapped in England during the War of 1812, and I am working on the publisher’s edits on the second book in the series coming out next spring.

What do you do when you have to get away from the story for a while?
Read books in a wholly separate genre, go for walks, sometimes I even clean house.

Please give us the first page of the book.
November 1, 1900
“The young widow should wear deep crepe for a year and then lighter mourning for six months and second mourning for six months longer. There is nothing more utterly captivating than a sweet young face under a widow’s veil, and it is not to be wondered at that her own loneliness and need of sympathy, combined with all that is appealing to sympathy in a man, results in the healing of her heart. She should, however, never remain in mourning for her first husband after she has decided she can be consoled by a second.” Emily Price Post

She felt his gaze upon her from the instant she stepped into the clubhouse ballroom. That ballroom, all white pillars and blue velvet benches around the circular walls, fell silent the moment Catherine VanDorn, now Lady Bisterne, strolled through the white painted doors from the great hall, and a hundred pairs of eyes swiveled in her direction. Yet the intensity of one man’s bold stare drew her own past the gowns and jewels of the New York elite to meet the audacious dark eyes of a gentleman at the far side of the room.

Her heart skipped a beat. Her gold-shod feet stumbled. Skin-deep cold from the rainy November evening crept through to her bones, and for the first time that evening, she accepted that Mama was correct to tell her not to wear the mauve satin ball gown a mere thirteen months after her husband’s death. It was too bright, too frivolous, proclaiming, however falsely, that the debutante who had departed from Tuxedo Park in triumph on the arm of an English lord, a scandal in her wake, intended to seek a new husband.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
http://www.lauriealiceeakes.com Where you can find excerpts of my books.
http://www.twitter.com/@LaurieAEakes Where I keep people up-to-date on my life.
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLaurieAliceEakes/ Where I have contests fairly regularly, call-outs for my street teams on books, give away books randomly, and just feed some news.

Thank you, Laurie Alice, for sharing this book with us. I'm eager for my copy to arrive so I can read the story.

Readers, Laurie Alice is in the middle of a move from Texas to a northern state, so she may not be able to comment very often on the blog, if at all. However, she will come and read the comments at some time in the future when she can. She will love to hear from you.

Comments conversation starter questions: Have you read any of Laurie Alice's previous books? Which one was your favorite?

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Honorable Heir - Paperback
The Honorable Heir - Kindle
The Honorable Heir - Audio

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Anonymous said...

would love to win. angela in ky

collettakay said...

This books sounds amazing!

Colletta from PA

Melanie Backus said...

I have not read Laurie's books but I can see I need to change that. Thank you for the opportunity.

Melanie Backus, TX

Connie said...

I haven't read any of Laurie's books before now but I am looking forward to reading this book. It sounds fascinating!
Connie from KY

Cathy said...

I have read the Midwives series and really enjoyed them. This was such an informative and interesting interview, particularly with the information on Emily Post! Thanks for the opportunity to participate. Cathy - TX

Mary Preston said...

This sounds wonderful. I will have to Google "skating chairs".

Mary P


Vera Godley said...

I so thoroughly enjoy a Laurie Alice Eakes story and her superb writing. She really takes the reader to the place and helps them delve into the lives and thoughts of her characters. I'd love to read The Honorable Heir and about this setting.

North Carolina - and waiting to see what storm Matthew has in store for our lovely state.

Vera G

Karen Hadley said...

I'm from Oklahoma. Yes I have read her books and really enjoyed the midwives series but everything I've read by her is good.

Beth Gillihan said...

I haven't read any of Laurie's books. Love the cover. Sounds like a good read.

Beth in Montana

A Cooking Bookworm said...

I've read several of Laurie's books, the Daughters of Bainbridge and Midwives series. The Honorable Heir sounds so good!!

Binghamton, NY

Mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks fabulous! Please enter me.
Clarksville VA

Kim hansen said...

Sounds good. Love the cover. north platte nebraska

Winnie Thomas said...

I don't think I've read any of Laurie's books, but they sound fascinating. I'll have to read some soon. I'd love to win a copy of The Honorable Heir.
Winnie T. in Utah

Patty said...

So glad we are not bound by so many etiquette 'rules' these days!

Patty in SC

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Laurie Alice tried to leave a comment, but was unable to. She sent it to me to post:

Thank you all for stopping by for the interview. Life is a little
crazy for me, as I move from Texas, to Illinois just in time for
winter. I hope things settle soon so I can get back to writing.

Those of you on the East Coast have a care of Matthew. I've been
through a couple of hurricanes, and they are nothing to mess with.

I, too, am glad life is a little more informal than it was; however,
sometimes I wish people paid more attention to social structure and
civility. Etiquette by Mrs. Post was fascinating reading. She had a
dry and entertaining sense of humor. She also had a difficult life,
with an unfaithful husband and marriage that ended in divorce and
financial ruin. She had to write to support herself and her children,
as her husband lost all their money. I think she was a great lady and
was happy to do her what honor I could in this story by using her

Lane Hill House said...

I am going to choose A Moonlight Promise in the novella collection Sincerely Yours.
Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Dianna said...

This is a new author for me. I love the cover, and the first page synopsis!

Dianna said...

PS. I am in TN!


Amada Chavez said...

This sounds like a lovely book! :) I'd love to win, read, and review a copy!

Sincerely, Amada (pronounced. a.m.a.th.a), NM

rubynreba said...

I love it that we can put the past behind us and start a new life. God will always help us do this. I'd really enjoy this book.
Beth from IA