I’m very excited at the release of my first book for Love Inspired Historical, THE EARL’S MISTAKEN BRIDE, which is the first book in a series called The Parson’s Daughters. You’ve heard of those Pride and Prejudice spin-offs with titles like “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” right? Well, The Parson’s Daughters series is more “Pride and Prejudice and Christians.” Which is nothing like zombies...well, not last time I looked around my church on a Sunday morning!
Of course, this isn’t actually a P&P spin-off – the similarity is that I have five sisters in the Regency period whose father – a parson, as the series name suggests! – is facing the loss of his livelihood but has faith in God to provide for all his needs. Although he’s never been desperate for any of his daughters to marry, he’s aware God’s provision might include the odd husband. (Hopefully, not too odd! In fact, since I get to write them, they definitely won’t be odd. They’ll be smart, humorous with varying degrees of good looks and Christian faith. The Christian faith can be improved upon, the looks probably not...)
So, why did I make the switch to inspirational and historical? Inspirational was my first genre when I started writing romance, but I couldn’t seem to make it work. I moved on to sweet, secular romances, but have always had inspy in mind as a possible direction. As you may know, I ended up writing for Harlequin’s NASCAR series, which was a lot of fun, partly because of the opportunity to tap into a specific world – NASCAR – with its customs and traditions. When the NASCAR series finished, I really missed writing that kind of world-based story. I started toying with the idea of an inspirational Regency series (Regency being another world with a set of customs and traditions that lend themselves to great stories). Partly because Tina James had taken over as senior editor at Love Inspired Historical – I worked with Tina before, on the NASCAR books, and loved it!
|Abby's book is IN STORES NOW...|
So, in November last year I went on a brainstorming weekend with my critique partners and best buds Karina Bliss and Sandra Hyatt. I took along a series idea called “The Parson’s Daughters” and a few story hooks, and asked them to help me flesh it out. Which they did, wonderfully. Some of you will have heard that Sandra Hyatt died suddenly in August this year (actually when we were attending a writing conference together), so to have my first LIH book come out a year after we did that brainstorm together is very poignant for me. I miss Sandra every day.
Okay...am I talking too much? THE EARL’S MISTAKEN BRIDE is inspired by the Bible story of Rachel and Leah – you know, Jacob falls for gorgeous Rachel, works for 7 years to marry her, then his father-in-law swaps the girls on the wedding night and Jacob’s stuck with not-pretty Leah. Here’s the blurb for my book – spot the similarity!
“The wrong sister! 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….”
I had so much fun writing this book! I actually just turned the second book in the series THE GOVERNESS AND MR GRANVILLE (think, the Regency meets The Sound of Music!) into my editor last week, so this series is very much on my mind at the moment.
Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and blessed New Year to you and your families.
Ruthy here! Besides loving Abby Gaines to death because she's a powerhouse author despite her small size, I love that she has never been 'boxed' and we know that means a lot to you guys in Seekerville! Not everyone is meant to be branded... Right? So if you're done browsing the village and having coffee with Ruthy, Missy and the gang at the Yankee Belle Cafe, come on in and chat about Abby's book, books, or the 'genre' switch. We'd love to hear what you have to say and we've got two copies of The Earl's Mistaken Bride to give away, either e-format or hard copy, your pick. And Abby, waving a Merry Christmas to you on the other side of the planet! You rock!