Shana Galen is the national bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston's inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married to a man she calls Ultimate Sports-fan and has a daughter, Princess Galen, who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers: visit her website at www.shanagalen.com, download her free author app for exclusive content and first looks, or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.
She Wants Him...She Wants Him Not...
Lily Dawson, dubbed the Countess of Charm by the Prince Regent himself, plays the role of the courtesan flawlessly while her real purpose is spying in the service of the Crown. Her mission now is to seduce a duke to test his true loyalties. She'll do it, even though the man she really wants is Andrew Booth-Payne, Earl of Darlington—the duke's son.
Andrew is furious when he finds himself rivaling his father for Lily's attention. When he uncovers Lily's mission, Andrew is faced with impossible choices. It seems he is destined to betray either his family, his country, or the longings of his own heart...
It’s All About the Action
My favorite scenes in books are almost always the action scenes. I love to write them, and I love to read them. Since I’m the author, it might seem strange, but my heart will pound and my fingers fly when I write an exciting action scene. I can really feel my pulse pounding.
I hope your blood pressure goes up a notch when you read this excerpt. In it, Lily Dawson, a courtesan on her way to the theater, has had her carriage waylaid and driven out of Town by three thugs.
The carriage slowed to a stop, and Lily jolted awake. Drat! She’d been trying to stay awake, but a steady diet of too little sleep, coupled by the sway of the carriage for what seemed hours and hours, lulled her into a light slumber. She was still holding her pistol, cradled in her arms, and now she hurried to prime it. She might have time to fire only one shot, but that would be one less man to fight. She heard the scrape of metal against the board sealing the door of her carriage and pushed herself into the darkest recesses of the interior. She was thankful she’d worn the sapphire gown. It was dark and hid her well.
When the door opened, she calmly aimed and fired. The pistol jerked back, the sound deafening her, and the force of the explosion making her arm sting. A man screamed, and the carriage door slammed shut again.
“She’s got a pistol!”
That’s right. Lily’s hand was shaking, but she immediately bent to prime her weapon again. It was difficult with her hand shaking and powder falling on her skirts, but she would show these men she was no easy target. She could hear them whispering outside the conveyance. Their voices were father away, and then all was quiet. She held the pistol in her hand, poised to fire again. When she heard the banging, she jumped. They were nailing the doors shut again. Good. She was not safe yet. But it bought her some time.
Quite a lot of time, as it turned out. She tried to remain vigilant, but she was tired and hungry, and her eyes glazed over when the black of the carriage began to fade to a subtle gray light. Suddenly, she snapped to attention. She looked around, disoriented.
“Up here, little girl.”
Lily looked up and cursed under her breath. She’d forgotten the hatch. It wasn’t large enough for a man to fit through, but a man was peering down at her now, a pistol in his hand and aimed at her heart. He grinned. His front teeth were black, and one of his incisors was missing. His scrubby beard and stringy brown hair framed a gaunt face marred with old scars and fresher wounds.
“Now, do as I say, and no one gets hurt.”
“I rather doubt I will not be hurt.”
He grinned wider. “My way, you have a fighting chance.”
Not much of a chance, but she had to take it.
“Hand me yer pistol.” He narrowed his eyes. “And no tricks.” He shifted his body and pushed his hand into the carriage. Lily looked at her pistol and looked at the hand. It was grimy, dirt under the blunt fingernails, the ratty wool coat dirty and stained. “I’m goin’ t’count to three, and then I’m goin’ t’shoot you. Somewhere painful where it won’t kill you.”
Lily blew out a breath and slapped the pistol into his hand.
“Got it!” he said, raising his prize triumphantly. When he moved, she could see the streak of light in the sky behind him. It was just past dawn.
As soon as the man spoke, his companions went to work removing the board from the doors again. It came off easily, and the door was thrown open. Lily stared at three grinning men—the man from the hatch and two others who looked just liked him. All three were thin and dirty—and leering.
If the other door hadn’t been sealed shut, she would have escaped that way, but as it was, there was one entrance and one exit. The men studied Lily, and she stared back. Her fear warned her to run, to try and escape. She ignored the instinct and waited. Let them strike first.
It didn’t take long. A man with matted red hair reached for her, and Lily kicked out, striking him in the jaw. He fell back and came up roaring. Wildly, he reached for her again, and she easily evaded him, managing another kick in at his chest. But the third time she was not so fortunate. He caught her foot and dragged her off the squabs. She landed unceremoniously on the floor of the carriage, and the men caught hold of her legs and dragged her out.
Readers, what are your favorite scenes in books? Action? Humor? Sex? Something else?
To learn more about the Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend preorder gift, check out Shana Galen’s Facebook Page for more information: http://shanagalen.com/sapphires-earls-best-friend.php.
Send your proof of preorder before February 28th!
Follow along on the Jewels of the Ton Pre-Publication Tour—with chances to win books and jewelry at each stop!
2/17 Cocktails and Books – Diamond
2/18 SOS Aloha – Amethyst
2/19 Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance – Citrine
2/20 Romance Bandits – Rose Quartz
2/21 Reading Between the Wines – Ruby
2/24 Ramblings From This Chick – Pink Sapphire
2/25 Stich-Read-Cook – Garnet
2/26 Dashing Duchesses – Blue Topaz
2/27 Romancing the Book – Smoky Quartz
2/28 Books-N-Kisses – Sapphire
One lucky commenter will win a gorgeous garnet necklace and the first two books in the Jewels of the Ton series (When You Give a Duke a Diamond and If You Give a Rake a Ruby).
Open to residents of Canada and US. Must be 18 or older. No PO boxes.
To enter – leave a comment or question for Shana along with your email address.
Example: emailaddress (at) gmail (dot) com
Ends: March 5th 2014