January 23, 2009

Book Signing: Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart

Florida Friends of Midwives is excited to welcome Carol Leonard to Sarasota in celebration of her nationally acclaimed novel Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, A Midwife's Saga. Ms. Leonard will be honored with a tribute dinner on Friday, February 6th, in Sarasota, preceding a book signing at the Selby Public Library on Saturday, February 7th.

Carol Leonard, a 'foremother of the modern midwifery movement,' is a New Hampshire Certified Midwife who has been practicing for the last three decades. She is co-founder of the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) representing all midwives in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, serving one term as President. Her work to improve maternity care in Moscow, Russia, was featured on 20/20 and was written into Congressional Record. She has delivered approximately 1,200 babies safely into their own homes.

Often laugh-out-loud funny and irreverent, occasionally disturbing and deeply sorrowful, Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart is the saga of Ms. Leonard's journey as New Hampshire's first modern midwife. Her story intertwines three threads: her dedication to the mothers and babies she was groomed to attend; the growing renaissance, despite formidable opposition, of the profession of midwifery in New Hampshire and then in the United States; and finally, a powerful, tragic love story.

"Carol Leonard's memoir of becoming a midwife in New Hampshire during the mid-1970's overflows with her gifts as a storyteller as well as intuitive midwife," says Ina May Gaskin, author of Spiritual Midwifery. "Inspiring, often hilarious, always touching and full of beans, she takes us through her apprenticeship with an old country doctor, the politics of the U.S. midwifery movement and her own personal story of love, loss and deep dedication to women's health. She's my kind of midwife!"

In October 2008, Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart was awarded the prestigious annual Mothers Naturally Award of Excellence for "Midwives in Media" for Oustanding Book of 2008. The award was presented in the beautiful Traverse City Opera House in Traverse City, Michigan. The award states: "Mothers Naturally Awards commend outstanding achievement in childbirth activism, advocacy for normal birth, and empowerment of women in childbirth."

Ms. Leonard will be selling signed copies of Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart at Selby Library on Saturday, February 7th, from 12:00pm to 2:00pm. Proceeds will benefit Florida Friends of Midwives, a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to promoting the Midwives Model of Care and supporting the practice of midwifery in Florida. A tribute dinner will be held in Ms. Leonard's honor on Friday, February 6th, at 7:00 pm at The Monterey Grill in Sarasota. Live music will be provided by Radio-Free Carmela and the Transmitters.


  • Was the first midwife certified to practice legally in NH in 1982
  • Received the Bronze Medal for Bravery from the Australian government in 1984
  • Was on the Today Show with Jane Pauley in 1985
  • Was elected President of the Midwives Alliance of North America (the professional organization for midwives in the U.S., Canada and Mexico) in Wheeling, WV in 1986
  • Purportedly, was the first American to deliver a Soviet/Russian baby in a Moscow rodom, filmed and featured on 20/20 with Barbara Walters in 1991
  • The unpublished manuscript of Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart was installed in the Margaret Sanger Archives at Smith College in 1999
  • As a lobbyist for the New Hampshire Midwives Ass'n, Leonard won a heated legislative battle mandating insurance coverage for home births in NH in 2007
  • 10/2008, Leonard's self-published memoir Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, A Midwife's Saga was awarded the Mothers Naturally Award of Excellence for Outstanding Book 2008

  • Pulication date: July 2008
  • Author: Carol Leonard, NHCM
  • Title: Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, A Midwife's Saga
  • ISBN: 978-0-615-19550-6
  • Price: $15.00
  • 368 pages, trim 5.5 x 8.5
  • A trade paperback, includes glossary
  • Publishing House: Bad Beaver Publishing
  • Midwifery, Women's Health, Autobiography


Midwives have a long and valued history in Florida. Originally founded in 1989, Florida Friends of Midwives has been resurrected with a new vision to respond to the emerging challenges faced by Florida's midwives. Florida Friends of Midwives (FFOM) is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to promoting the Midwives Model of Care and supporting the practice of midwifery in Florida.

Florida Friends of Midwives was formed to support midwives who offer safe, cost-effective, evidence based care to Florida's Families. Our members are consumers and birth advocates with a common goal: to preserve the legal protection afforded to Florida's midwives and birth centers. We are committed to organizing the community to support midwives and to assure the continued availability of midwifery care in the State of Florida.

Michael A. Gilkey, Jr. Lectures at USF Sarasota

Michael A. Gilkey, Jr., landscape architect with Michael A. Gilkey, Inc., was honored to have been invited to participate in the Academy for Lifelong Learning's lecture series entitled Architecture, The Framework of our Lives. Michael's presentation was called Landscape Design: The taming of garden spaces with ecological considerations. Moderating the discussion was Harold Bubil, Real Estate editor for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Michael taught a class of about seventy people a brief history of landscape architecture in America, conceptual principles of design, principles of sustainability, and an overview of his recent work. A beautiful slide presentation accompanied the lecture, compiled by Jason Riley, project designer at Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. Project photography for the slideshow was taken by Gana Gilkey. Additional information and photography was collected from the American Society of Landscape Architects.