Historical romance author, Laurie Alice Eakes shares her inspiration for Over a Barrell, her novella included in the Colonial Courtships collection plus a chance to win a copy. Comment on any post dated Oct 1 – 5 to get your name in the drawing. Deadline: Oct 13, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Laurie:
Over a Barrel
The title came to me first. Carla Olson Gade invited me to join her, Lisa Richardson, and Tiff (Amber) Stockton in a novella collection set in colonial America. I love colonial American history, so jumped at the chance to work with these talented authors. It would be a straight-up romance, and I love romances.
But “Over a Barrel”?
Well, when we fall in love, we rather feel as though we are over a barrel, as though we will fall anyway, even if we try to get up. I wanted to do that to my hero and heroine, take two people who considered love to be the last state of being, and make them fall—hard.
But “Over a Barrel”?
How would this barrel fit into a story set in a small New England town in 1758? Farmers used barrels for apples. Yet this was a townie story, not a farm story. Who would have lots of barrels in a town? The baker, of course. Barrels of flour.
I could go off on a tangent about researching barrels and flour barrels in particular, but that’s for another place. This is about romance, not research.
Romance for a man who thinks he cannot have love. Years before, he left his apprenticeship to the town baker and ran off to join the British army. This was before colonists had truly come to detest the English overlords. So he has guilt over being disobedient. Strike one against him. Then he is wounded and cannot do a lot of the things a man of his day was expected to be able to do—hunt and build and lift heavy things, etc. He figures no woman would want him. He never expects to have a family as do his older brothers. He even pretends that he doesn’t really want these things.
And then Micajah, Micah for short, finds a child hidden in one of his barrels. . .
Sarah comes from a different world than Micah. Romance is so much fun to write when one takes one or both characters and places them where they are the least comfortable. For Sarah, raised to a life of comfort and wealth on a Virginia plantation, Sarah never expected to marry for love. Marriages were arranged in her world. At the beginning of this story, widowed and running for her life and the life of her child, love is a complication she doesn’t need. Yet Sarah needs Micah, first as a source of protection, then as a source for employment, then to return the love for him that fills her heart.
As for Micah, he thinks he doesn’t need Sarah. Though she proves useful to his work, she is about as welcome to his heart as are stones in his bread—or so he tries to convince himself, for Sarah is exactly the lady he wants and has convinced himself he cannot have.
“Over a Barrel” is the story of how love and romance bring two wounded people closer to the Lord and find the fulfillment of dreams they dared not let themselves have.
About Laurie: “Eakes has a charming way of making her novels come to life without being over the top,” writes Romantic times of bestselling, award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes. Since she lay in bed as a child telling herself stories, she has fulfilled her dream of becoming a published author with a dozen books and novellas in print and more on the way. A graduate of 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. Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaurieAEakes. Read excerpts from her books at: http://www.lauriealiceeakes.com
About the novella: Over a Barrel – After being wounded while fighting on the frontier, Micajah Ingersoll figures his future lies in making the town bakehouse a success. He doesn’t expect to find a woman willing to marry a partially lame man. He especially doesn’t expect to meet her in his storeroom after hiding her daughter in an emptied barrel. Sarah Chapman can’t be up to any good. But being near Sarah may mean losing his heart regardless of her past.
Come back Oct 4th for an excerpt from Over a Barrel!