Sunday, April 15, 2007


Abby Gaines writes funny, tender romance that leaves readers smiling. Her current release is Married by Mistake from Superromance, and her first Harlequin NASCAR release, Back on Track, will be in stores in May.

Right now I’m reading Tessa’s Black Widow Bride, and every page I’m struck by how fresh it feels.

As a reader, I hate starting a new book only to get that “been there, done that” feeling. As a writer, I lie awake at night (occasionally!) wondering if I can write anything that will feel new to me and my readers.

Yet some of my favorite story “hooks” are those that have been told over and over–mistaken identity, Cinderella themes, marriages of convenience.

In my book, Married by Mistake (out this month from Superromance), Adam and Casey don’t intend to get married. They fake a wedding after Casey is jilted on a reality TV show, but a quirk of Tennessee law means their marriage is legit. It’s shockingly inconvenient at first, then they start to see advantages in their situation. I loved the challenge of coming with a new twist on the marriage of convenience theme.

Tell me some of your favorite themes that you can stand to read over and over, and you’ll go into the draw for a copy of Married by Mistake.

Tessa says: Winners announced in 24 hours time. More than one giveaway is running, scroll down to find more!



Blogger cas2ajs said...

A couple of my favorite themes are bachelor fathers, cowboys and, of course, the marriages of convenience if they are done as yours are - with fresh, original premises.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Lis said...

My favorite themes are the marriage of convenience, reunion stories and the best friend to more stories :)

3:15 PM  
Blogger Tessa Radley said...

Trust me, Cas, this one is fresh and original! Fabulous book...

Thanks for the nice things you said, Abby.

I love revenge stories, dark wounded heroes (can't wait to read Anna Campbells debut book) and identity mistakes.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

ghjkityur See that, that is my head hitting the keyboard because already this month between my subscriptions and my orders, I am up to 31 book and you guys aren't making it easy.(my books I want list is getting longer) That kind of tells you I'm not perticular about themes but I do like stories about marriages of convience and twins, stitching places/mistaken identity

3:46 PM  
Blogger joye said...

I like stories of found-again love and the ones with western men in them-they just seemed to really like women and respect them

4:05 PM  
Blogger WendyK said...

Humm, first I can't be entered in the drawing Abby as I just finished your book and let me say this: I LOVED IT!!!! It was one of the best books I've read in awhile. I'm thrilled a friend mentioned it and I had it so pulled it up to read today. That's right I read the whole book in less than 5hrs and I'm considering doing an immediate reread. It was that good.

It's is certainly a new twist on an old theme. I loved the whole premise and the characters OMG. It was just outstanding and I loved the fact that in no way did any of it feel rushed, esp. the ending. Which sometimes does in catgeory books. But your story, it was just oh I don't know exactly how to say it and I'll stop now. Just know you've been added to my autobuy list now. I already would have bought the NASCAR book since I do those without looking at them. But now anything you write I want.

Okay now for my answer, I love the lost love, you know were the daddy or something keeps them apart and yrs later they reunite? The twins sometimes, the dark lost heroes, esp those like the heros who were wrongly convicted of a crime, and I know there are more but right now I'm still smiling and thinking about Abby's story.


4:25 PM  
Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Cas, I'm working on a bachelor father story at the moment, funnily enough. The working title is The Diaper Diaries (though that might change), and my twist is that it's a baby-on-the-doorstep story, where the hero is a cynical philanthropist who thinks caring is all about signing checks, and sees looking after the baby as a useful PR stunt... The heroine is a pediatric researcher whom he hires to look after the baby so it doesn't cramp his style too much!

I'm having fun writing it, but it won't hit the shelves until next March.
thanks for commenting

5:01 PM  
Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Lis, I like reunions too. Best friend to more can be great, but sometimes disappoint me. I watched the movie Two Weeks Notice again the other night, and that's a great example of two people who become best friends and finally figure out that it's more - I think it works so well because it also has a major opposites attract thing going as well.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Christa, yep, twins and switching places are great, I'd love to write a book on that theme.

Joye, I think southern men have that lovely courtesy thing going too - I love it in books and in real life.

Wendy, thanks so much for your comments on my book! I'm thrilled you liked it so much. It was a lot of fun to write, too - I was sad to say goodbye to those characters at the end, which is maybe why I didn't rush the ending! :)

5:11 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

themes....I love children...especially age 3-4....when their speech patterns are really cute!

5:58 PM  
Blogger misty wright said...

I love marriage of convenience stories. :) Beauty and the Beast is good! I have so many things I love to see a new twist on. hehe.


6:14 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

I am biased toward twin stories myself, being that I am one :)

I enjoy reading stories that take in small towns or some out of the way place that I have never heard of or been before.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Helenk said...

Oh this is a toughy - there are so many great stories and themes out there but if i had to choose-- the Cinderella type stories (especially when the hero is attracted to the heroine before the makeover) and the Best friends to more if it is done well.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Mona said...

I liked the themes of second chance at love, a bodyguard falling for the heroine he's protecting, switching places is also cool. Amnesia happened to either hero or heroine is very interesting.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Tammy, I haven't written a book with children in before - the baby book I'm working on now is the first. I'm finding it a challenge to remember where the baby is during each scene. At one point I had my hero folding his arms - then I realized he was holding the baby at the time, and by now the poor kid would be tucked into the hero's left armpit!

8:30 PM  
Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Misty, I really like Beauty and the Beast too. Except, unlike Tessa, I don't like my heroes to be too tortured...which may be why I haven't yet had the perfect B&theB story spring to mind yet.

Kathleen, how interesting that you're a twin - are you identical? I write mainly city settings at the moment, but I introduced a small town in my first book that I'm longing to go back to.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Helen, I love Cinderellas! Married by Mistake is very much a Cinderella story - when my editor first read it she said it was too far down the Cinderella track, so I had to make it more subtle - but hopefully Cinderella fans will get it!

Mona, I like amnesia too. Grace Green did a very nice amnesia story a few years ago - do you have any favorites you'd recommend?

8:38 PM  
Blogger Mona said...

I've read a few that I liked but the only title I have in mind right now is what I'm reading at the moment which is The Twelve-Month Mistress by Kate Walker.
Still haven't reached the amnesia part yet.
it's an interesting book , amnesia supposed to happen to the hero while the heroine was breaking up with him and he seems to remember almost everything except their quarrel. and she has to pretend that everything is ok between the two of them based on doctors' orders. Does that sound interesting or what? :)

9:13 PM  
Blogger Anna Campbell said...

Abby, firstly can I say - GORGEOUS COVER!!!

I love to think about themes although I have to say in my own writing, they tend to emerge naturally and I only recognise them later. Love the fairytale, mythological ones - I think they touch deep down inside us in a way we can't really explain. I think all my stories are basically Beauty and the Beast. Although my second book definitely has a Sleeping Beauty element as well. But Cinderella, Rapunzel, the Twelve Dancing Princesses, the Ugly Duckling, Psyche and Eros, you name it - they all work for me.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Denise Rossetti said...

I love stories about healing, nurturing. *sigh* Especially where both the hero and heroine are wounded in some way and they heal each other. Beautiful.

And sexy too. (I write erotic romance.) To my mind, there's nothing more romantic and more erotic than a truly loving nurturing action, given unselfishly. Ahhhh...


10:21 PM  
Blogger LadyVampire said...

I have so many themes I enjoy but a few of my favorites are Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella stories (Definitely know what you mean in post 17), when a man and woman at odds with each other are forced together for survival and come to fall for one another, and when there is alot of fun and humor in the story. So basically all books.

2:24 AM  
Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Mona, yes that does sound interesting! Kate is a great writer...

Anna, thanks I was very pleased with the cover. I'm really looking forward to reading your first book, I've been looking out for it in stores but haven't spotted it yet.

Denise, I always find, the more selfish the person is to begin with, the more powerful that unselfish action is...I love that.

LadyVampire, those are two of my favorite themes!

2:56 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

I love the marriage of convenience theme.

3:19 AM  
Blogger KimW said...

Your book sounds good, Abby. One of my favorite themes is old friends reunited. I also like the rich guy, poor girl theme so I can escape away and dream a while. lol

4:03 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

I like themes where they can't stand each other but are forced to be together anyway

4:19 AM  
Blogger CrystalG said...

I like best friends who fall in love, marriages of convenience, cowboys and baby stories.

6:04 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

I like the mistaken idenity theme and anything that has some mystery or suspense to it.

6:33 AM  
Blogger tlnrwcs said...

I like stories about second chances.

6:36 AM  
Blogger robynl said...

I love the reunion stories.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Maureen - you and me both! There's something about MoC that's just incredibly romantic...

Kim, I like rich guy, poor girl (which Married by Mistake is), but I also like rich girl and pretend-poor guy - of course, he has to turn out to be rich in the end!

Debra, I like that "forced to be with the guy you can't stand" too - lots of fun conflict!

11:07 AM  
Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Crystal, I always enjoy cowboy stories - that laconic, laidback charm - but I can't imagine knowing enough to write one.

Carol, I'd love to write a mistaken identity story, I just have to think up a brilliant idea that will fit with Superromance, which doesn't often publish those kinds of stories...

tlnrwcs - yeah, don't we all love to see people getting a second chance, when we know how easy it is to screw up the first time!

Robyn, I think part of the appeal of reunions is that second chance thing, too.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Minna said...

One of my favorite themes is beauty and the beast.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Lois said...

I like just about any themes. . . and ultimately, everyone always use them, its a matter on how different people make them. But looking quickly through what people already put, I've read and liked many of them. . . revenge ones though, it really depends on what it is, I'm not always comfortable with them, but others I've plenty loved. :)


2:08 PM  
Blogger Abby Gaines said...

Minna, I'm a sucker for Beauty and the Beast, as long as the Beast isn't too beastly!

Lois, I used revenge in my first book, Whose Lie Is It Anyway?, which came out in January. I didn't have the hero taking revenge against the heroine, which sometimes I find too intense - instead he was using her in his revenge plan against someone else, which of course she didn't figure out until after she fell in love with him...

2:21 PM  
Blogger Cherie J said...

I love cinderella themes.

3:04 PM  

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