Friday, January 18, 2013

Author Laurie Alice talks about Broken Hearts and gives away one of her books!

WINNER OF DRAWING was BONNIE!!  Chosen by   I wanted to thank you all for leaving your comments on this post. I read every one.. and several brought me to tears! I'm in awe of what so many of you have suffered and how God's love has seen you through. 

Many of you know that Laurie Alice Eakes is one of my favorite authors, so I am beyond honored to have her here on my blog today.  Her latest book, Choices of the Heart, is in my opinion, one of her most emotionally stirring. It is the third and final book in her Midwifes series, all three set in the early 19th century. I'm hard pressed to choose my favorite among the three, they are all sooo fabulous in different ways. If you've read the first two, you'll be thrilled to know that Laurie gives us a glimpse into the lives of the couples from the other books in this new installment.

Rather than waste time here with my own review of Choices of the Heart, if you're interested, click on this link from Amazon. And while you're there, why not pick up the book for yourself! 

For those of you who aren't familiar with Laurie Alice Eakes, she fulfilled her dream of becoming a published author with a dozen books and novellas in print and more on the way. A graduate of Asbury University and Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate program, she also teaches writing and gives inspirational talks to women’s groups. She lives in Texas with her husband, dogs, and cats, where she enjoys long walks and the beach as often as possible, and knits—rather badly.

And now without further ado, here's a brief blurb on the storyline and a GREAT article by Laurie about broken hearts.

She thought she had left her old life behind . . .
Esther Cherrett comes from a proud line of midwives and was trained by her mother to take over the family calling. But when a terrible scandal threatens all she holds dear, Esther flees, taking a position as a teacher in the wild western mountains of Virginia. But instead of the refuge she was seeking, Esther finds herself in the midst of a deadly family feud—and courted by two men on opposite sides of the conflict. All she wants is to run away again.
But could it be that her past holds the key to reconciliation—and love?
In this gripping story of trust, deception, and bittersweet loss, you’ll discover the true meaning of choices of the heart.

How Do You Mend a Broken Heart

“And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down? …”

As I sit down to write this post and share some thoughts from Esther Cherrett’s point of view, that song runs through my head, for Esther has a broken heart, and rain has been tapping at my office window here in Texas for about eighteen hours. That’s all right. We need the rain.

Before I start on This old song, I looked it up and discovered that the same week the B.G.s had this song as a #1 hit, John Denver had #3 with “Take Me Home Country Roads”. What makes this interesting is Choices of the Heart takes place in what is now West Virginia. In 1842, it was pre Civil War and thus WVA hadn’t yet seceded from Virginia. Regardless, it’s still one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

That bit of 70s trivia behind us, let me talk about Esther Cherrett’s broken heart.

She isn’t spurned by a man she loves. On the contrary, Esther is as shockingly gorgeous as her father was in Lady in the Mist. She’s a wee bit spoiled, being the long-awaited daughter after a handful of brothers, and can be more than a wee bit arrogant.

Or she was.

And then tragedy strikes, and Esther is on the run. No one is after her. She’s not in physical danger. But her heart is broken, and she convinces herself everyone will be better off if she gets as far away from anyone who knows her and her past as possible.

Within weeks of fleeing into the Virginia mountains, Esther learns her past has caught up with her. Her secret is not a secret to everyone. She wants to keep running. . .

Esther keeps herself busy. She draws, she practices some of her midwife skills, she teaches, she learns music, she explores the gorgeous mountain terrain of southwest Virginia. She reads books. She does everything she can to keep herself from thinking about the past and planning on a future.

A future, you see, might involve losing her heart to love. Yet that heart is wounded, shattered really. Her belief in the goodness of others has been splintered. Her belief in the goodness of herself has been torn from her. No one, nothing, can mend her broken heart.

I wrote this book beginning in November of 2011 after a year in which I had seen my heart wrenched in two and then shredded again. My trust in someone was damaged so drastically, I didn’t think it could ever mend. It wasn’t the same situation as Esther’s, and heartbreak is heartbreak. And having suffered it, writing about it proved painful more often than not.

By the time I finished this story, though, my heart was on the mend, so I could show Esther finding her way back to wholeness, and it takes a great deal more than a prayer and reading one Bible verse, or even a lot of them. It took her seeing how others healed with the Grace of God, how others suffered and did not lose their faith, how others took Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 seriously and held one another up, and it took others learning the truth and still caring about her—flaws and all--for her to find her way back to the healing of God’s love and forgiveness.

Before I give too much of the story away, I divert from Esther to the general, here and say that, when one is truly suffering, when people say “Pray about it and Jesus will bring you comfort” feels like a brush-off. As true as those words are, when one is truly hurting, one needs a body with skin on, and that is why the Bible says again and again to comfort one another, encourage one another, reach out to one another. Though how we live our lives, live through our pain with our faith in tact, we are God’s messengers of how He heals broken hearts, broken lives, broken connections with the lifeline of God’s loving, forgiving Grace.

How has God revealed to you, His love and ability to heal a broken heart?

Laurie is graciously giving away a copy of ANY of her Midwife series. In order to enter to win, please answer her question in a comment and leave your email address. Print books only mailed in the USA. Outside USA, ebooks will be sent.

You can find Laurie at the following places. 


  1. I just wrote a blog article about what I've felt God telling me about His love so I will just share the link instead of re-typing it all! (Hope that works/counts) :)


  2. Fri Jan 17th,
    "Morning, MaryLu and Laurie".
    Oh, I love the sounds of this book already !!! When there is emotion running, a great story-line, and 'real-life characters' ... with their own personality -- flaws, weaknesses, and strengths too .... these are the kinds of books that 'come to life' for me !!!
    My heart has been broken bascially for many years now ... but it has been through -- the Lord, His Word, prayers, and dedicated and 'true friends', who have "come along side" -- to lift me up (when I couldn't), to pray with me, to comfort me, to encourage me, to let me know that I am not alone and .... to just simply love me for 'who I am', and allow me to 'be myself' !!!
    It takes time, and trust, and patience (something I'm not the greatest with) ... but, I DO KNOW, that "God IS love" ... He IS good, ALL the time ... no matter what !
    Thanks for the opportunity and chance to win "Choices of the Heart".
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley
    ( )

  3. God has been so faithful to me. He has helped me overcome the fact that I was adopted and when my adopted father died when I was 5.. I was broken hearted for years! I was a troubled teen who was in trouble with the law constantly, that is until God came near. He rescued me, healed my broken heart, and really showed me that HE is a Father to the fatherless. What an amazing God we have.

  4. God has picked me up several times when I thought I couldn't be fixed. Just when you are about to give up he comes in and rescues you! I am so thankful for God in my life! makeighleekyleigh at

  5. Would love to win this book sounds so good. Now I have that song going through my head and it won't leave. My heart has been broken many times but God is there to heal it.

  6. I have a more specific instance to share of how God revealed His love to me during a difficult time. It was about 3 years ago and there were several personal issues in my life that had my heart broken. I was at church and was quietly sitting crying on the inside while those around me where laughing and talking. All of sudden a little girl who was in my Children's Church class came over and gave me a hug. It was as if God used her little arms around my neck as His arms embracing me and saying that I was not forgotten and that He cared and loved me. I will never forget that feeling and have tears in my eyes with the memory as I type this. I'm so thankful that God's love never fails or forsakes and He uses even the smallest of His children to show He cares.

    ~ Amy

  7. Kallie, I think that counts. Thank you for sharing. Brenda, Emily, Megan, I appreciate you sharing. This book was emotionally difficult for me, as I was writing through a broken heart God was working hard to heal. As I did, I want others to walk away with hope and comfort, and a renewed understanding--or a new understanding--of God's amazing love for us.

  8. Amy, I, too, got tears in my eyes reading your story. God uses all sorts of wonderful things to show His love--like children and animals, and even sunshine.

  9. Amy-
    My best friend has really been a picture of God to me this summer. It's been a hard past year, but I fell in love with this friend. She, as well, is three years old and will often tell me that "Callie, you are my best friend," and "Callie, I really love you!" and it's all I can do to not start crying! Thank you for sharing; I know how wonderful it feels when God shows His love for you through children :)>

  10. I have not read any of he midwife books, but they are all on my to read list. I am really into midwifery right now after watching the show "Call the Midwife" which is based on the memoirs of a 1950’s midwife living in the East End of London!

    To answer the question, I cling to Scripture. God revealed His love for me, and for all of mankind, by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for sin and to redeem us! By His crucifixion and resurrection, we are forgiven! That is love!


  11. When I was a young girl, I was molested by a teenage girl multiple times. Before that, I was happy and innocent. That changed my world forever. From then on, I never felt "good" or "clean". I became very rebellious in my teenage years. After school, I moved out with friends so I could continue my wild, promiscuous and dangerous lifestyle. One night, after being out with friends, I found myself in a bad situation that turned into me being raped. A few weeks later, I found out I was pregnant, but with my boyfriend's child. He told me that I had to have an abortion, or he would kill both me and the child. Everything I thought was freedom starting trapping me into a smaller and smaller box. My heart was crushed and I was on the run. I went into hiding while he stalked and harassed my parents trying to find me. Once I was far enough along (where abortions were illegal at that time), he decided to get a lawyer and take the child. He was very wealthy and I knew he would win. I fell on my knees and begged God to help my baby. I knew that he didn't deserve this. The next day, when I went to the dr, they informed me that my due date was way off. They were really confused about how my body was responding to the pregnancy. When I saw no way out, God used the rape to rescue me. I then was able to tell my ex that the child wasn't his. God saved our lives. I found out, many years later, that it probably was his. My body reacts to pregnancy and throws everything, timeline wise, off. God created me that way knowing it would rescue me someday. Nobody can ever tell me there isn't a God. He has proven Himself to me. There was no way out of that situation, yet He made a way and showed love and mercy to me.

  12. The grace God has shown me over n over n over despite the reason for my broken heart is unfathomable! From the loss of a daughter to me making mistakes..His grace is always suffient.

  13. Wow Charity! You have an amazing story! Thank you for sharing; your story reminds me of those "I Am Second" stories...perphaps you should share it there! :) Thanks again for sharing and keep on shining for God!

  14. I haven't heard of that! I will have to google it (: thanks!

  15. God is always there....helping us to reach out, be in tuned & be available to offer words of encouragement to others...focusing off our selves also helps heal our own hurts & doubts!

  16. No problem! Hey, did you check out my blog article above? It's about what God thinks of us as Christians, so it applies to you! You are His princess and He loves you! Tell me what you think! Thanks!

  17. I just recently heard about your books Laurie....and know that song very well. My family is from WV and they sing country roads at every family reunion, or when we have a bon fire. I was born in WV but grew up in NJ and NY. But now I live in VA and I am interested in the history.
    I grew up in a pastor's home.
    I had a wonderful childhood, loving parents, great church, friends and schools. We had stress and general problems..but a happy life. I was a " good girl" didn't do much of anything you would call wrong...of course I wasn't perfect..but lived for the Lord. We moved to NY when I was about 15, and at age 19 I was raped and I became preg. Here I was...the pastor's daughter and preg. I didn't tell anyone what had happend..but I got really sick. Called planned parent....because I knew...but couldn't go through with it. My dad came downstairs one night and said God told me you were preg...and the tears instantly began to flow. My parents showed me so much love....but I was hurting deeply Not only did I deal with the pain of what I went through...but the loss of friends, people talking about me etc. It was really hard for me emotionally. After my son was born we moved to PA when he was 3...the day after the move I ended up in the er and have had a lot of health problems since. I went through 3 years of depression and a whole lot of things..through it all my parents loved me and helped me in any way I would let them. To make a long story day I picked up a christian fiction book...and began reading again...the book ministered to me..I cried and prayed through...and God has just been showing me love, mercy and grace since. He has brought me back, shown me how to love and forgive again. He has taken my broken heart that was in a zillion pieces and made it as new.
    I have been able to work again as childrens, teens and young adult ministires leader....and I am also able to help others in my situation...all because of Him.
    I know this is long..but also wanted to son has been the biggest blessing to me. Due to health I cannot have any more children..and wanted many...but God blessed me with him. I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. God always turns things around for the good. I am blessed and humbled by all that God has done in my life.
    My e-mail is:

  18. My sophomore year of high school my mom was forced to kick my dad out due to drugs... it was one of the hardest things I ever had to see. My dad eventually was able to come back, but my senior year of high school we realized we were back in the same place and my mom told him to leave and this time he didn't bother to argue and he just left. I was so angry and upset with him and my heart was broken. My heart was broken for myself and for my family.
    During that year I met my husband and I ended up marrying him. He isn’t saved and doesn’t believe the way I do, so it makes our relationship difficult.
    But many months later my daughter was born and I end up getting a call from my dad in the hospital. He wanted to see me and my little girl. I didn't know what to do. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it or if I wanted to forgive him. My husband told me I should forgive him and see him. His dad use to beat him and he was use to a dad always on drugs and drinking. His mom was really never there for him, but he still loved them no matter what and would do anything for them. Yet he wasn’t saved. How could I not forgive, when my husband did it so easily? God used my husband to help me forgive and to see my father again. I’m so glad that he did, because my father has now passed away and I would have regretted never trying to have a relationship again. I’m so glad God uses his own and those who have yet to come to him to heal our broken hearts.

  19. You ladies are breaking my heart and then mending it with your stories..Johnette, I never knew your story until now. Hugs, sweetie! Thank God for loving parents.
    I am currently reading "Colonial Courtship"; just finished Carla's section....very good!
    Broken heart, broken faith....I have my own story, but I will just say that God is GOOD!!!!!
    Hugs to you MaryLu and Laurie! God bless!

  20. You all, I can't tell you how much your stories have moved and blessed me. God's love is indeed a power to reckon with. It finds us no matter where we are.

  21. Emma, I need to see that show. I met a midwife when I worked in a chiropractic office, and got interested in the field and its history. I'll warn you that some people think my books don't ahve enough about the practice of midwifery in them, and the point of the story is that they are romances first with heroines who are midwives. The books are about their lives and how being a midwife effects their lives.

    And babies and treating illness in the mix. I've learned so much about midwives in my research I could write many more books on the subject.

  22. I'm speechless, truly speechless, with tears filling my eyes at some of your stories. Thank you all so much for opening up and sharing such intimate tragedies in your lives and how God was there for you and His grace and love saw you through. What a testimony to His awesomeness as Father and Lord! I hope many people read your stories and are blessed.

    And thank you, Laurie Alice, for being on my blog, for such a great article, and for posting the question that caused such great testimonies!

    Hugging you all!!

  23. I don't really know how to answer this question as I guess I have not had to heal a broken heart. I guess you could say I had a broken heart when I lost my grandma and one thing that got me thru was that I will meet her again one day.

  24. I forgot to leave my email address sorry. It is griperang at embarqmail dot com

  25. These stories are both heartbreaking and encouraging. I'm so thankful for a God who loves us and walks beside us through the valleys.

  26. when my husband of 24 1/2 years divorced me, I was broken! God sent a wonderful sweet Christian man to heal my broken heart! he restored my faith in love!

  27. In this secular life that we live amongst, it is difficult to deal with "brokenness", but more than that, it would be much worse to walk without the Lord who provides me my strength. "The joy of the Lord is my strength."

  28. In this secular life that we live amongst, it is difficult to deal with "brokenness", but more than that, it would be much worse to walk without the Lord who provides me my strength. "The joy of the Lord is my strength."

  29. MaryLu and Laurie Alice both know most of my broken heart story, but I'll share some of it here for those who don't.

    Four and a half years ago I met someone who swept me off my feet. He fooled everyone, even my dad. We got married and the person I had fallen in love with ceased to exist. Things started on a downward spiral less than a month after the wedding. Ten months later I was living on the other side of the country and had to leave out of fear for my life. He's 1400 miles away, but if he ever dared to show up here without permission he might get used for target practice. (it's a very comforting thought for a broken-hearted daughter, when she knows her daddy will do whatever it takes to make sure she's safe)

    It was the hardest thing I've ever been through. All these years I'd waited and waited for the right man, saving everything for him. Even my first kiss. And this one man destroyed all of it and broke me. I spent a year lost in heartache and refusing to let anyone help me, even to the point where I cursed him out one afternoon after a particularly vicious email from him.

    But a year later healing started when I went to stay with my grandmother after she broke her leg. Now what I went through feels more like a bad dream than something that really happened to me. I'm divorced now and moving in new directions that have me unbelievably excited about the future.

    He threw away the best thing that ever happened to him. But my best thing is yet to come. I'm sure of it, because I can sit here and write romance again.

  30. Yes I do remember your story, Rachel. My heart broke for you during that entire season of your life. I'm so glad to see you're healing and ready to move on with your life! God is good!

  31. I guess I don't really have a good answer to that. The closest I have ever come to a broken heart is in losing my pets. I felt very sad but never questioned it, in a sinful world death is something that happens to everyone and every thing.
    I know that's not much of an answer/experience but I guess I have just been very blessed in that area.
    I'd still love to read your book :)
    I enjoyed Lady In The Mist and I am intending on reading it again.
    Jasmine A.

  32. My story is not mine alone, so I will not share, but we know we are blessed.


  33. Rachel, seeing how the Lord has healed your heart has been special to see. In the end, you are a better person now, gentler in spirit and more compassionate.

    Sometimes surgeons have to rebreak a bone to set it right. God often has to break us to set us right.

    Jasmine, having lost a lot of pets over the years, I do understand that they can break one's heart.

  34. In my mid-30s we went through three and a half years of heartbreak as we lost all four of my grandparents, my mother, and my father-in-law. God's love was the only constant in our lives at that time. His Word, His people, and His peace sustained us. Can't really explain it, but it was all there.
    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  35. I haven't yet experienced a broken heart in love, but I have experienced a broken heart through death of a loved one. When you love and bury your closest relatives from the tender ages of 7 to 13; followed by 20 & 24, you start to grow a bit faster than your peers. I realise I lost grandparents, a great-grandparent, an Aunt and a Cousin, but each of them meant the world to me. When you come from a close-knit family its hard to accept the grief that comes from no longer seeing them on a regular basis. I always turned to my Faith and to God himself to help me rally through my anguish and to shift past the difficulty of the present moment {their passing} so that I could come out the other end with a lighter heart, a mind full of joyful memories, and a smile. Yes. A smile! Because more than anything, the best gift they all gave me was unconditional love. And, that truly is the gift that God wants us all to give freely and to receive. In this way, its through love that I mourned and its by love that I healed. God has an amazing grace in giving us time to ease what burdens us.


    I would LOVE to win one of the Midwives books, as I love historical fiction and stories that evolve out of sisterhood bonds of friendship. I think midwives adhere to a certain invisible womanhood bond that carries them through the roughest patches in a woman's life. How blessed we are to have them! I'd pick the first in the series, as I was only just introduced to you {Laurie Alice Eakes} through this blog post! Cheers!

  36. After divorcing an abusive, alcoholic, husband & hitting my "bottom" - God's love reached out to me while I viewed a passion play on the life of Christ & brought me "back" to Him . I became a cast member of the play & it continued to minister to me every night - as well as to the audience.

  37. By small but sure reminders that He is there with unexpected hug, a letter of encouragement, a ray of sun, a deer crossing by, a bird song, a song...


  38. It is just hard thing when one's heart gets broken to heal. It takes time, faithful friends(that GOD fills our life with), and not drawing away from GOD but continuing to talk to GOD so you can hear his voice and feel HIS comforting arms around you. Reading the scriptures a lot and looking for words of comfort. Some times we pull away from HIM, then feel as tho HE has abandoned us, when it is us who has turned away from HIM. He never leaves us, but is the other way around. He helps us see and hear things to put happiness back into our heart so we can slowly heal. Hoping to win.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  39. One doesn't live to be in their 70s without experiencing a broken heart many times. The suicide of a beloved sibling at a young age. The sudden death of a father. The death of an aged mother who valiantly lived her last years. The betrayal of friends. Through it all, the heart breaks, the tears flow, and time passes. What does not pass is the love and undergirding of the giver of life - God the Father and the Saviour of us all, Jesus Christ. The Spirit speaks to our hearts and the quiet and mends the broken heart and spirit.

    godleyv {at}yahoo[dot]com

  40. I am truly in awe at these stories. Seems like we have all experienced broken hearts in one form or another. Which makes me realize that probably everyone we meet in this world has had a part of their hearts chipped away by some tragedy. That certainly explains some of the bad behavior we see. I, too, have had my heart broken on more than one occasion.. starting with my own Father abandoning me... but in the end..though I tried many other things, it was only God who finally put my heart back together. His unconditional astounding love is the healing balm for every wound. I pray all the hurting people out there come to know Him and HIs love. Thank you all so much for sharing your hearts here. I read every post.. some with tears.. May God bless each one of you and all who visit here to read your stories

  41. I guess deaths of my loved ones and losing a baby when I gor pregnant at 42, was my heartbreaks, But, I came from a Christian family and had 7 siblings, so knew death would come at some point. But, my first was the sister closest to my age and only 42, too much too young in my opinion, but guess not in GOD's. Then, just 4 months later I lost my daddy. It was so hard and would been much harder without the love and comfort of my Savior, and my family. Now, I have lost so many at my age, there are only 3 siblings left. But, GOD blessed us with getting to spend this Christmas together. We have also lost tiny babies, and in the past few years some of the younger ones the ages of my children, One at 21, 40, and 2 at just 61. The last was my son-in-law. So, now my daughter is broken-hearted. It was so sudden and unexpected. Praise God we have His love and comfort, and, family, and true friends to get through. Laurie, I would love to win your book. One of my granddaughters just had a baby in Oct. with a midwife. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  42. It's crazy to think about really mending a broken heart. But really, only God can truly heal us. He knows us inside out. I was going through an emotional dilemma today, though not a broken heart, but it still kinda hurt. And I just wanted to pray, to talk with Him. We can gently guide hurting people back to Him and share His love.
    Oh, and chocolate always helps a little too :-)


  43. Oh and I just left the previous comment but forgot an email address. It's jesusfreak4ever(at)juno(dot)com


  44. Congratulations Bonnie! Let us know how you enjoy your new book!