Narelle here. I'm excited to welcome Abby Gaines to our blog today. We will be giving away a copy of Abby's latest release, The Earl's Mistaken Bride. The giveaway is open to readers who live anywhere in the world.
Abby Gaines writes funny, tender romances for Love Inspired Historical and Harlequin Superromance -- she's currently at work on her 19th novel for Harlequin. She's also experimenting with a young adult novel and a women's fiction novel. Abby loves reading, skiing, traveling and cooking for friends, as well as spending time with her husband and children.
As soon as Marcus Brookstone lifts his bride's veil, he sees he's been tricked. He made a bargain with God—to marry a good, Christian girl if his mother recovered from illness. But Marcus intended to marry pretty Amanda, not stubborn Constance. His next plan, to ignore his new wife, fails as well when Constance makes it clear that she wants a true union.
Constance Somerton doesn't dare reveal that she's been enamored of Marcus for years. The man believes love is for weaklings. Someone needs to teach him about marriage's blessings. Someone who sees beyond his arrogance to the tender heart beneath. Someone exactly like Constance....
Narelle: What do you find most fascinating about the Regency era?
Abby: The dresses! They're so floaty and feminine. Plus, the Regency was such a short period in England's history, and was followed by an era that was in many ways more constrained for women…that brief window of time is all the more interesting for its brevity. I'm also utterly fascinated by the banter that Georgette Heyer used to bring the Regency period to life in her books, but I don't know how true to life that is.
Narelle: Have you visited England?
Abby: I am of English descent (I have the passport to prove it!), and lived in London for several years. I worked very close to Mayfair for a while, and one of the things I enjoyed most about writing The Earl's Mistaken Bride was having my characters live in streets and squares that I've wandered many times.
Narelle: What was your inspiration for writing The Earl’s Mistaken Bride?
Abby: The Bible story of Rachel and Leah… as you know, Jacob wanted to marry Rachel, but was duped by his father-in-law into marrying Leah. I feel so sorry for Leah, knowing she was an unwanted bride. My heroine, Constance, is in the same situation (though it's not her father who's the culprit). Unlike the Bible days, Constance's husband doesn't get to marry his first choice bride as well…he's stuck with just the one he didn't want!
Narelle: Do any real life historical figures play a role in The Earl’s Mistaken Bride?
Abby: Not an active role, but I did discover during my research that the poet Keats had his first poem published in 1816, the year my story is set, so my characters talk about him. Also, the landscape artist JMW Turner was in his early days, and my hero and heroine are divided in their opinions of his work, which back then was quite different from the prevailing art.
Narelle: Did the church influence the faith and lives of your characters?
Abby: My heroine is a parson's daughter. She has huge love and respect for her father, and for the church. The hero goes to church more out of duty. He believes in God, but at the start of the book doesn't have the concept of a personal, submissive relationship to Him. He strikes a bargain with God (at least, he thinks he does!) and that's what lands him with the wrong wife.
Narelle: How has your faith influenced your writing, and the type of stories you write?
Abby: When I first started writing romance, I tried writing inspirational, but just couldn't get it to work. I think I was too preachy! So I switched to secular stories, very much at the "sweet" end of the romance market. I will likely continue to write those books, as well as inspirational. All my books, whether inspirational or secular, tend to explore the theme of unconditional love…someone loving you just the way you are…which is really a reflection (though pale and human) of God's love for us. But that's not the end of the story. In my books, being loved like that inspires my characters to change for the better - just as being loved by God inspires us in real life.
Narelle: The Earl’s Mistaken Bride is your first release with Love Inspired Historical. Please tell us about your upcoming releases.
Abby: This book is intended to be the first of a series of five, called The Parson's Daughters. A kind of inspirational Pride & Prejudice, with five sisters to marry off. The next book, The Governess and Mr. Granville, out in 2012, is a bit like a Regency-set Sound of Music.
Abby, thanks for joining us today. It's been a pleasure to interview you and learn more about the Regency era.
By commenting on today’s post you can enter the drawing to win a copy of The Earl's Mistaken Bride. The drawing will take place on Friday, November 18 and the winner announced on Sunday, November 20. Please leave an email address [ ] at [ ] dot [ ] where you can be reached.
"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."
To learn more about Abby and her books, please visit her website.
Narelle Atkins writes contemporary inspirational romance. She resides in Canberra, Australia with her husband and children. To learn more about Narelle, please visit her website.