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A deadly poisoning, a stolen painting and a criminal mastermind challenge the skills of Sharpe and Donovan


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Opposites attract in this gilded age historical romance when a young American suffragette eschews marriage until a handsome detective is hired to protect her from a dangerous stalker.


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When missing turns to murdered, one woman's search for answers will take her to a place she never wanted to go…


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Where do you go when you're at the end of your rope?


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The men of BOLO Consultants uncover a dangerous enemy in the City of Sin.



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Abby Gaines | Turning lemons into lemonade isn't that easy.

You know the saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." It's the ultimate optimist catch-cry. I'm an optimist myself (annoyingly so, I'm told!), which means my first reaction is "lemonade, yeah, absolutely."

But making the best of a bad situation isn't always as easy as "making lemonade." There are times when stuff happens that can't just be mixed up with a bit of sugar and made palatable. If you're in that kind of situation – and for some reason they seem to crop up more often, or maybe hurt more, as Christmas approaches – you have my sympathy. Feel free not to make lemonade, because there's a time to wallow in lemons (a time to weep, as that famous chapter of Ecclesiastes calls it) and that's perfectly ok.

But, thank God (and I mean that), there's also a time to laugh. I get my laughs from my husband, my kids, my friends. And from books. Not for me the gloomy or nasty story, I'm afraid. I like my fiction with only a small dose of lemon, guaranteed to end on a lemonade note.

Give me a story that puts the characters in a sticky situation (not one that's going to keep me awake with worry, rather one that makes me wince even as I can see the possibility of laughter ahead), and let me root for them as they work their way out of it. My new book, THE EARL'S MISTAKEN BRIDE, is that kind of story, I hope. Here's the blurb:

"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...."

Poor Constance hits the ouch factor in a big way! But she's tougher than even she knows, and I had a lot of fun writing her and Marcus's story.  Click here to read an excerpt.

Sandra HyattI'll be giving away a copy of THE EARL'S MISTAKEN BRIDE to a commenter on this blog – overseas entries welcome – so feel free to share your thoughts on lemons and lemonade, or anything else.

LESSONS IN
SEDUCTIONWhile I have your attention... Another book out this month is LESSONS IN SEDUCTION, by Sandra Hyatt. Sandra is a dear friend of mine, who died suddenly in August this year. The ultimate lemon for her family and friends, and one that, despite my happy memories of her, will never be lemonade. If you'd like to support Sandra and her family, you can buy her book here, or check out her website www.sandrahyatt.com for details of a trust set up to honor her memory.

 

 

Comments

62 comments posted.

Re: Abby Gaines | Turning lemons into lemonade isn't that easy.

Sometimes you have to be really creative to get lemonade. I tend to be more pessimistic so it's a really good thing I married an optimist. He keeps me from being a real downer. I've learned how to roll with the punches a little better in the 20 years we have been together. He definately brings out the best in me. It's a good thing I like lemons. lol
(Patti Paonessa 1:10am November 30, 2011)

I love this story already. Give me a stubborn lady and a strong will man and watch the sparks fly. lol
Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.
(Brenda Hill 1:45am November 30, 2011)

I am an optimist. I can always see past the problem or incident. I would love to read THE EARL'S MISTAKEN BRIDE
(Mary Preston 2:26am November 30, 2011)

I have had a lot of lemons lately. I am usually optimistic, but sometimes.... I will keep this in mind. In the meantime, time away in a fun book always helps!! This sounds like just the ticket.
(Penny Mettert 3:48am November 30, 2011)

Patti, I'm an optimist married to someone who's more of a pessimist. Maybe we subconsciously seek that balance!

Brenda, I'm a big fan of stubborn heroines, too...

Mary and Penny, thanks so much for commenting...Penny, I hope your lemon days are over soon
(Abby Gaines 5:42am November 30, 2011)

I may not be Debbie downer, but I do tend to be a pessimist. Still, the
love of my family and friends gives me hope and keeps me balanced. :)
And I would love an opportunity to read your book.
(Hyunjin Jeon 6:01am November 30, 2011)

Sounds like a great story. I love books where there isn't too much unhappiness too. The world is tough enough. Give me an uplifting lemonade ending and I am one happy reader!
(Karen Gervasi 6:26am November 30, 2011)

I am a lemons to lemonade and a cup half full person!
Blessings,
Marjorie
(Marjorie Carmony 6:27am November 30, 2011)

Just remember, make lemonade from lemons. It will work out.
(Mary Smith 6:32am November 30, 2011)

The lemonade is all the more appreciated by having had the leomons first. Thanks for the note on Ms. Hyatt's
(Cate Sparks 7:28am November 30, 2011)

I only want a little lemon with my stories, to much and it leaves a bitter after taste.
(Theresa Norris 7:43am November 30, 2011)

Lemons and Lemonade - boy, do we need them both in our lives! This book certainly has both!
(Felicia Ciaudelli 8:00am November 30, 2011)

I think we have all have a bunch of lemons thrown at us at one time or another in
our lives. Making lemonade out of those lemons takes optimism, determination
and a sense of humor. I've always felt that one is able to laugh at oneself,
difficult situations can be made "sweeter." I love the plot of this book and look
forward to reading it. In addition, the heroine and I share the same name! ;-)
(Connie Fischer 8:56am November 30, 2011)

It sounds as though Marcus is trying to make lemonade out of lemons by ignoring his new wife, but Constance is perfectly happy being a lemon.
This book sounds fantastic. I love romance between two people when someone is completely against it (either one of both of the people involved) because it makes the ending so much sweeter. Maybe we will get something sweet out of lemons instead of sour lemonade... :)
Can't wait to read it!
(Jenifer Penczynzyn 9:22am November 30, 2011)

This book sounds awesome..I cann't wait to read it...Thank you!!!
(Leisa Prater 9:36am November 30, 2011)

Sounds like a great book. A very interesting situation!! Love it. And thank you for sharing about Sandra Hyatt...I will definately buy that book!
(Dawn Staniszeski 9:52am November 30, 2011)

I love lemons! I love reading how to get around/out of them.
(Beth Elder 9:53am November 30, 2011)

Lemon is one of my favorite flavors. I'd rather have it than chocolate. I also love the sound of this book. I'd like to win it. Thanks for the contest.
(r w 10:26am November 30, 2011)

I am a pessimist. :( So it's hard for me to see the good side of things...

But your book sounds interesting.
(May Pau 11:07am November 30, 2011)

I can't wait to see a stubborn Constance win---because I'm known for my stubbornness, too.
(Sue Farrell 11:21am November 30, 2011)

I used to be a lemon person where my cup was always half full. I married an optimist, and after 38 years of marriage, he has made me see that using lemonade is a much sweeter way to live my life. The EARL'S MISTAKEN BRIDE is a perfect example of making lemonade out of lemons. Constance wears off on Marcus and brings his thinking around. I can't wait to read this book.
(Cathy Phillips 11:58am November 30, 2011)

Oh I love books like this one... how much the characters go through to finally get their HEA...
(Colleen Conklin 11:59am November 30, 2011)

I always try to look on the bright side but as you said sometimes it is very hard. I too feel that life is too short and you have to laugh easch day.
(Barbara Hanson 12:09pm November 30, 2011)

Ashley - "Debbie downer" - that's funny!

Karen and Theresa - here's to happy books!

Marjorie and Mary - nice to meet some other optimists...

Cate, Felicia and Connie - I agree, we need both lemons and lemonade
(Abby Gaines 12:23pm November 30, 2011)

I love when characters find themsleves in sticky situation. Sometimes I laugh with them or cry for them. No matter it's always entertaining.
(Na S 1:04pm November 30, 2011)

Jennifer and Colleen, I agree, the ending is so much sweeter when the characters have had to work for it.

Cathy, that's cool that your husband has taught you a more optimistic outlook!
(Abby Gaines 1:42pm November 30, 2011)

Would love to get one of our books. Hope to win
(Debbie Ellis 1:44pm November 30, 2011)

Hi Abby,

I feel like I am stalking you today of all these blogs. I was so saddeded to hear of Sandra Hyatt's passing. As a tribute to her, I bought all of her books. Such a tragic loss.

I do like to make lemonade from lemons -and I consider myself an optimist.
(Tammy Yenalavitch 2:00pm November 30, 2011)

I just read the excerpt and cannot wait to find this book; I'm sure making lemonade from lemons won't be necessary!
(Dolores Feagin 2:05pm November 30, 2011)

Abby, you're one of life's great optimists and that lovely quality is reflected in all your books.
(Karina Bliss 2:05pm November 30, 2011)

I have said, especially lately due to family drama, when life gives you
lemons get lemoncello. Sometimes just stepping back allows everything
to breath, like you, and things become clearer.
(Carla Carlson 2:07pm November 30, 2011)

Thanks for a lovely post. Your book sounds fantastic!
(Erin Fender 2:46pm November 30, 2011)

Most of the time I am a lemonade type of person, and prefer to see the good in people and events happening around me. Of course, there are some occasions when life offers a cup of lemon into my life.
(Anna Speed 2:58pm November 30, 2011)

I definitely want this book, it sounds great!
(Cheryl Lynne 3:04pm November 30, 2011)

Life tends to be a mixture of lemons and lemonade. I know we all have to survive the bad and happily live the good. I like to read books with a happy ending--this gives us all hope in our lives.
(Joan OToole 3:39pm November 30, 2011)

It helps you get through life better if you look for the good, glass half full, lemons into lemonade, and finding your true love or soulmate. I am so lucky to have found mine 41 years ago. You book sounds very exciting so I just had to drop by and take a chance, thank you and good luck and happy reading to everyone.
(Donna Killian 4:06pm November 30, 2011)

I miss Sandra tremendously. Even though we never met, we shared numerous emails and blog comments throughout her two years of writing publication. I only have her first two books (which I loved loved loved) and look forward to picking up her remaining ones, including the one now out. Thank you for noting her name and book.
As for lemonades, I too consider the glass half full. When I feel rough because my arthritic knees aren't bending like I'd like, I am thankful that I'm not in a wheelchair like many. When I bundle up in a blanket, I am thankful I am not homeless and cold (or too hot) all the time. The list never stops. I became aware of the numerous ways to feel grateful all because of Oprah's grateful journals years ago. You can never be too thankful.
(Elaine Seymour 4:19pm November 30, 2011)

thank you, everyone who has mentioned Sandra Hyatt - I miss her every day. (and thanks Tammy for buying all her books!)
(Abby Gaines 4:55pm November 30, 2011)

I like the cover and regency stories.
(Michelle Fidler 5:05pm November 30, 2011)

Karina, thanks for the nice compliment (I'll pay you later!)

Carla, lemoncello sounds tasty!

Donna, congrats on finding your soulmate! I have one too, and that makes up for a lot of lemons...

Elaine, I agree, you can never be too thankful
(Abby Gaines 5:06pm November 30, 2011)

Lately my life has had lemons, but then, unexpectedly, lemonade. Loss seems unending, but then, suddenly, a small bright spot appears and we go on, remembering the lovely moments more and more, and enjoying the new bright moments. Books help. They let you put everything aside for a few hours and just enjoy the charactors.
(Sharon Mitchell 5:08pm November 30, 2011)

I think lemons have gotten a bum rap - they are full of
vitamins (and also can prevent scurvy!). Granted, they taste
better with sugar, but what doesn't? It's so much fun to atch
characters connect - this looks like just my kind of story.
(Diane Sallans 5:44pm November 30, 2011)

Diane, I have to admit I love the taste of lemon! (much more than orange)

Sharon, thank you for your thoughtful words.
(Abby Gaines 5:57pm November 30, 2011)

I've not been blest to read anything of yours yet- but Mistaken Bride looks delicious- look forward to reading it - it looks like fun and Constance is my kind of gal!
blessings,
Maribeth
(Maribeth Curry 6:27pm November 30, 2011)

Actually, a bushel basket couldn't hold all of the lemons that have come my way for the past few years, but I've managed to hold on through a lot of prayer and laughter. First of all, my Mother had passed away after suffering from Alzheimer's disease. My Father and I both were taking care of her at home. I would run over there daily, against my Doctor's orders, to help, to the end, which made my health conditions worse. Shortly after that, my Husband lost his job. After court battles, we ended up losing our house. We took what we could, packed up our small pick-up truck, and pop-up camper, grabbed the dog, and headed for the nearest campground, which was to be our new home. As for the rest of our belongings, the Mortgage company put all of it out on the curb. We lost most of our furniture and our appliances. Some of these items were only a couple of years old, which at the time, made me physically ill, but my family wouldn't help me. Anyway, we moved around to different campgrounds to live for a while, and I continued to pray that we'd find a place to live, which we finally did. We're very happy where we're living now. We don't have our own house, and we'll never be able to furnish it the way we did before ( I miss a real mattress), but I'm thankful to have a roof over my head. As for my family, the feelings are strained, especially with my Dad. I helped him out of love, and helped the rest of my family whenever they needed anything. When I needed help the most, they turned their backs on me, and I learned a valuable lesson. Since I've moved, I've devoted my time to helping strangers as opposed to helping my immediate family. They are more deserving of my time and talents ( I knit and crochet). Sorry my story was so long. I also remember hearing about your dear friend Sandra. My heart goes out to you and her family. I'll have to check out her book, and I would love to read yours. Have a Merry Christmas!!
(Peggy Roberson 6:29pm November 30, 2011)

I am lucky that my husband & I balance each other out. We both go back & forth between the two. Usually, though one of us is an optimist.
(Jenny Finstrom 8:06pm November 30, 2011)

Book sounds great. If life gives you lemons you need to make lemonade. I would love to win your book. Happy Holidays to everyone.
(Linda Hall 8:17pm November 30, 2011)

Personally, I like to take the lemons and make lemon pound
cake for the hubby. He's the one that makes all our lemons
into pies.
(Lisa Richards 8:31pm November 30, 2011)

I like to have a lemonade finish. But the lemons can seem to
be thrown in and you think won't ever be made into the sweet
beverage. Though there are those people who eat lemons
straight.
(Melanie Carter Winkler 8:33pm November 30, 2011)

Hmm, I'm starting to get hungry with talk of pound cake and pies!

Peggy, well done, holding on to the ability to laugh.

Melanie, you summed it up nicely!
(Abby Gaines 8:40pm November 30, 2011)

Sorry about your friend Sandra. Friends are never forgot that bring a smile to our face ,or heart ,when we think of them.
(Deb Pelletier 9:23pm November 30, 2011)

Does everyone know that Anne McCaffrey died Monday? She was 85.
(Denise Fooce 9:40pm November 30, 2011)

Enjoyed the excerpt posted on your site - looking forward to reading more about Marcus and Constance.
(Mary Chin 9:49pm November 30, 2011)

I love historical fiction. Can't wait to read your story!
(Molly Wilsbacher 10:15pm November 30, 2011)

I just love stories like this. Love to win your book, so I can read it.
(Amy Milne 10:26pm November 30, 2011)

I tend to be a glass is half full kind of person. When I start talking about the lemons without the lemonade, you know something is very wrong!
(Jennifer Beyer 11:00pm November 30, 2011)

My daughter gave me her take on the life / lemons debate: When life hands you lemons, squirt lemon juice in life's eyes! Guess she's more of the "don't get mad, get even" persuasion...
(Abby Gaines 11:05pm November 30, 2011)

I purchased Sandra's book earlier in the year and have read it. It's a wonderful story, I'm going to really miss her!

Pat Cochran
(Patricia Cochran 11:48pm November 30, 2011)

I usually am a glass half full kind of person but having just
lost my mother I'm feeling down. I feel for Sandra's family.
May she rest in peace.
(Judith Mor 10:29pm December 1, 2011)

one best appreciates the moments of joy when they break through the sorrow; love after having known sadness; the sun after days of rain; and day - after the darkness of night. Winter is upon us in the Northeast, but what a glorious long fall we've had!
(Beth Fuller 11:14pm December 1, 2011)

Thanks for the uplifting post and comments, and giveaway!
(Marianne Barkman 9:46am December 2, 2011)

Thanks Pat and Judith for your comments re Sandra. Judith, I'm sorry to hear about your mother.

Thanks for commenting, Beth and Marianne
(Abby Gaines 1:19pm December 2, 2011)

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