Shana Galen and Five Fun Facts from …

Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend

???????????????????????????????????????1. I didn’t come up with the titles for any of the books in the Jewels of the Ton series. After When You Give a Duke a Diamond was titled I knew the other books would have gems in the titles too, but I didn’t know which gem until I’d already written all of If You Give a Rake a Ruby and most of Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend. I had to go back and include the gem in the title in the story.

2. I named the hero’s friend Flynn because Flynn Rider from Tangled is my favorite Disney Tangled Rlynn Riderhero. But then I liked him so much I had to write a story for him too. It will be out in January and is titled The Viscount of Vice.

3. When Lily turns up at the end of If You Give a Rake a Ruby as a spy, I was as surprised as anyone else. I didn’t know she was a spy, and it wasn’t what I was planning for her book. Fortunately, my editor gives me a lot of leeway when I write synopses, since my books are generally nothing like the synopses I turn in.

Multi-Colored-Sapphires[1]4. I had to research sapphires when I was writing this book. I found out that sapphires come in more than just blue. They can be purple and pink and other colors too. I have some pictures of various colored sapphires on my Pinterest board for Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend.

girl sidesaddle5. Lily rides a horse several times in the novel, and I had to research riding habits to make sure she was dressed appropriately. I always find it so amazing that women did everything men did on horseback, but they did it sitting sideways!

Who’s your favorite “supporting actor” in a book, movie or TV show? Does s/he deserve a story of his/her own?

Giveaway: print copies of When You Give a Duke a Diamond

&

 If You Give a Rake a Ruby. (U.S./Canada only)

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‘Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend’

Careful, gentlemen—there’s more to this courtesan than meets the eye

What better disguise for a secret agent than that of a courtesan? Lily Dawson, dubbed the Countess of Charm, is a spy working for the Crown to uncover a traitor.

Andrew Booth-Payne, Earl of Darlington, wants to hate Lily for taking up with his father, but something about Lily intrigues him. When he discovers there is more to her flirtation than greed, he knows he must help her uncover a traitor. Even if that traitor is his own father…

*Connie’s review here.

*Excerpt here.

Buy Links: Amazon / B&N / iTunes

Shana GalenAuthor Bio: Shana Galen is the bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Booklist says, “Galen expertly entwines espionage-flavored intrigue with sizzling passion,” and RT Bookreviews calls her “a grand mistress of the action/adventure subgenre.” 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 and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.

Social Media: Website

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‘Sapphires are an Earl’s Best Friend’ by Shana Galen

sg saaebfSTORY: 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…

REVIEW: Lily Dawson, is known as the Countess of Charm.  She passes herself off as a courtesan when she is truly a spy for the government.  At present, she has been tasked with trying to cozy up to the Duke of Ravenscroft to find if he truly is or isn’t loyal to his country.  The Duke is known to be a hard drinking, old lecher.  He is suspected of being in possession of some rubies that he is using to pay for assassins to kill government spies.  Lily is staying at his home looking for chances to search the place to see if the suspicions are true.  Lily is finding things difficult for she is constantly being thrown together with Andrew Booth-Payne, the Earl of Darlington and son of the Duke of Ravenscroft.  Her growing attraction to him is throwing her off her game.  Knowing that his father is also lusting after Lily makes for some great confrontations and a good story.

This is the third book of Shana Galen’s Jewels of the Ton series and stories of each of its three members.  The first book is “If You Give a Rake a Ruby” which features Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery.  The second book is “When You Give a Duke a Diamond” which features Juliette, the Duchess of Dalliance.  And now, we have the third book, “Sapphires are an Earl’s Best Friend” which features, Lily, the Countess of Charm.  There you have the three books of the series and I do hope that readers will get a copy of all three of them so you have the whole series and know the entire story.

I loved the book and as always with Shana Galen’s novels, she has once again proven herself to be the master of the romance spy novel.  No one writes them as well.

*Connie for b2b

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

My Historical Christmas recommends [part 3]

BBWAM KB‘Bound by Wish and Mistletoe’ by Kat Bastion

BOOK BLURB: The holiday novella, Book 1.5, following the award-winning debut of Forged in Dreams and Magick in the Highland Legends Series:

Desperate to honor a life-long promise, Susanna MacEalan escapes her abusive clan with the fierce determination of never falling under the power of a man. Ever.

Aggravated by shallow-hearted pursuing lasses, Robert Brodie, commander of his clan’s elite guard, has foresworn scheming women. Forever.

When magick transforms Brodie Castle into a Christmas wonderland, the two despondent souls find solace in a most unexpected place . . . each other’s arms.

Amid a whirlwind of escalating events, Susanna’s traumatic past threatens Robert’s ability to protect the one woman meant for him. In a harrowing moment, as her fears and demons coalesce, will hope, faith, and love be enough to save them?

REVIEW: This is a short novella that follows on the heels of a full story ‘Forged in Dreams and Magick’ [which I read but haven’t had the time to review it yet; will do it soon, but my one word to describe it would be ‘excellent’] and it can stand alone, but if you’re a thirteenth century highland lover, both books are a must. We met Robert, hero of this novella, in the first book and I really hoped he’d get his story.

Robert Brodie is very handsome and formidable warrior which causes many maidens to throw themselves at him, and they’ve become obnoxious and tiresome to him.

Susanna’s father was about to betrothed her to a man she despises, so she decides to run as far s her legs can carry her.

And that’s when she runs into Brodie and his men. They were in the forest on a mission to find a fir-tree and bring it to Lady Isobel [she’s the time traveling heroin from the earlier book] for gracing the Hall at the keep.

Brodie is determined to save this damsel from her father and from her own fears, so he decides to take her back to the castle with him.

This short novella is fast paced, well plotted, filled with wonderful descriptions of 13th century Yule tide celebration and great characters all around.

Brodie and Susanna are very likeable from the start and if you like your Medieval romance sprinkled with a bit of magic, you must give this one a go.

I’m looking forward to book two in ‘Highland Legends’ series which is ‘Born of Mist and Legend’ coming in 2014.

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????????????????????????????????????????‘The Duke’s Match Girl’ by Lila DiPasqua 

BOOK BLURB: As childhood friends, Leopold d’Ermart and Suzanne Matchet were inseparable. One unforgettable Christmas Eve, their relationship changed from the best of friends…to lovers. But the heir of the Duke of Mont-Marly isn’t supposed to fall in love with the daughter of his family’s physician. Or vice versa.

Is this a second chance at first love?

Years later, Suzanne is dreading her first Christmas without her father. The heartbreak Leo caused when he left seven years ago is a distant memory. And she prefers to keep it that way. The last thing Suzanne expects is for tall, dark, and sinfully seductive Leo d’Ermart to show up at her door and announce he wants her back in his life. And in his bed. Worse, the now celebrated libertine is even more devastating to a woman’s senses than ever before…

Or are they playing with fire?

The only woman Leo, Duke of Mont-Marly, has ever yearned for is the adorably unconventional, intelligent beauty who got away. He discovers Suzanne creating and selling matchsticks, elixirs for the ill…and is still so damned alluring. Leo is determined to show her the depth of his desire, win back Suzanne’s heart. And give her a Christmas beyond her wildest imagination…

REVIEW: I read some of Hans Christian Andersen stories, but I never read the one that this novella was based on, ‘The Little Match Girl’ so I really can’t compare the two, but I can tell you that even though this is one of Lila DiPasqua’s Fiery Tales series it can be read as standalone.

Leo, a French Duc and Suzanne, a daughter of his family’s physician, grew up together developing a deep friendship, and when they were 18 and 20, they became lovers.

Soon after, on Christmas, Leo does something that breaks her heart, but not her spirit.

Seven years after that Christmas, Leo means to repair the damage and comes up with a plan to win his one and only love.

Even though this is a short novella, it lacked nothing that a full novel can offer. Characters of Leo and Suzanna were strong and well-rounded, entertaining and very interesting.

This story is for everyone, especially for those of us that believe in second chances, plus need I tell you that if it has Lila DiPasqua name on it, it will always be sensual and very steamy.

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AKFM CM‘A Kiss in Midwinter’ by Courtney Milan 

BOOK BLURB: Miss Lydia Charingford is always cheerful, and never more so than at Christmas time. But no matter how hard she smiles, she can’t forget the youthful mistake that could have ruined her reputation. Even though the worst of her indiscretion was kept secret, one other person knows the truth of those dark days: the sarcastic Doctor Jonas Grantham. She wants nothing to do with him…or the butterflies that take flight in her stomach every time he looks her way.

Jonas Grantham has a secret, too: He’s been in love with Lydia for more than a year. This winter, he’s determined to conquer her dislike and win her for his own. It all starts with a wager and a kiss…

A Kiss for Midwinter is a novella (38,000 words) in the Brothers Sinister series. It follows The Duchess War. Each book stands on its own, but those who prefer to read in order might want to read that book first.

REVIEW: I actually listened to this story from Audible, and you can too now, because right now this is a FREE Kindle with Whispersync for only $1.99.

This is one of those stories that you either love or you don’t, and I fall in the group of the former.

Ms. Milan never fails to populate her tales with many complex characters and this short story had an abundance of them, from our hero and heroine to their parents and friends.

We met both of these characters in the earlier books, so it was natural to bring them together, but the way this author does it is interesting and it will have you frustrated, sad and in the end you’ll rejoice in their unique relationship.

Without reviling too much, I have to tell you that this is a romance that deals with some issues that make you appreciate your parents just a bit more.

If you haven’t read the first book in the Brothers Sinister’s series, don’t fret, because this little gem totally stands on its own.

Just loved it.

FREE DOWNLOAD RIGHT NOW [don't know for how long, so download it today!]

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CATD SD‘Caroline and the Duke’ by Sabrina Darby

BOOK BLURB: A Widow Determined to be Merry

At the urging of her best friend, Caroline, Lady Ballister, seeks a lover with no emotional attachments. After all, experience has taught her that love is a fickle, pointless thing.

A Duke Determined to Marry

Sutbridge has wanted Caroline for ten years and, now that she is once again free, is determined to make her his wife. But will he settle for her body, or wage a war for the most important treasure of all: her heart?

REVIEW: This one was one of the shortest I’ve read this Christmas, but also one of the sweetest too and frankly, I was pleasantly surprised and relieved that being so short, neither the pace, plot or characters were sacrificed.

Caroline and John were likable and their story which has a long history between the two, enjoyable.

They’ve known each other fir some time, nd while Kohn lost a chance to declare himself ten years ago, now that she’s a widow, he aims to correct that and make her his wife. She on the other hand has had enough of a bad marriage and is actively looking for a lover, not a husband, and he is the one on top of her list. Another story of second chances and a good one too.

This is an author I’ve never read before, and if she can write a short story that is satisfying in plot and pace as well as characterization, I think I’ll read her again.

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AGSC AC SG VK KN‘A Grosvenor Square Christmas’ by Anna Campbell, Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly), Kate Noble 

BOOK BLURB: Four breathtakingly romantic tales of a Regency Christmas from four bestselling romance authors.

Down through the years, enchantment touches a tall gray house in Grosvenor Square. The legend of Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball promises true love and happiness to one lucky couple. Who will feel the magic this winter?

1803 – The Seduction of a Duchess by Shana Galen

Rowena Harcourt, the Duchess of Valère, never forgot the handsome footman who helped her escape the French Revolution. For fourteen years, Gabriel Lamarque has loved Rowena—now at Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball, has fate finally delivered a chance to win her hand?

1818 – One Kiss for Christmas by Vanessa Kelly

Nigel Dash is London’s most reliable gentleman, a reputation he never minded until he fell in love with beautiful Amelia Easton. Unfortunately, Amelia sees Nigel as a dependable friend, not a dashing suitor. At Lady Winterson’s famous Christmas ball, Nigel vows to change Amelia’s mind—by sweeping her off her feet.

1825 – His Christmas Cinderella by Anna Campbell

At the season’s most glittering ball, a girl who has never dared to dream of forever after discovers a Christmas miracle.

1830 – The Last First Kiss by Kate Noble

Susannah Westforth has always loved Sebastian Beckett – but he’s only ever seen her as a friend. When Sebastian takes his Grand Tour, Susannah transforms herself into a woman he’ll notice. Now Sebastian is back, just in time for Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball – but the last thing he expects to see is his little Susie, all grown up…

You’re invited to join the whirling dance at Lady Winterson’s sparkling Christmas ball, where miracles happen and true love shines forever. How can you resist?

REVIEW: This collection of four tales from my three [never read Kate Noble before this short story!] favorite authors was delightful and now that it’s FREE I hope you take the advantage and grab it while you can.

All four tales have a common thread, which is a site, and that’s Lady Winterson Christmas party and as secondary characters, Lady Lucy Frost, Countess of Winterson and her butler Philbert were such a delight to watch.

1803 – The Seduction of a Duchess by Shana Galen

Out of all the stories, this one touched on a personal level because of the older woman/younger man romance.

I love it when authors leave the comfy zone of the ‘usual fare’ and do something a bit risqué.

This story I actually wanted really badly, and if I remember correctly, I even suggested to the author. Throughout the series of ‘Sons of the Revolution’ I always thought that the mother of these men deserved to find love once more.

I loved everything about this one, from the hero who was much younger but had the courage to go after the woman he admired for years, to once again visiting with the Sons and their lady loves.

1818 – One Kiss for Christmas by Vanessa Kelly

Another author I love and no wonder as she weaves a short story that is sweet and believable.

I liked Amelia, who was the Countess of Winterson’s niece, and Nigel, a genuinely nice guy who thinks it’s time to break out of that ‘reliable and dependable’ mold to win his lady.

This would be a perfect story to sample Vanessa Kelly and discover her writing style.

1825 – His Christmas Cinderella by Anna Campbell

If you loved Cinderella story as a child, you’re going to love this story.

Campion and Lachlan were entertaining throughout the story and it was great following their dialogue.

I thought this story very romantic, and my heart went out to Campion, a poor relation living with an aunt by marriage.

Lachlan was a great hero who we root for from the start of their affair as he rescues this damsel.

1830 – The Last First Kiss by Kate Noble

What a great way to get acquainted with an author!

Don’t ask me how this happened, but I never read Kate Noble book, and that needs to change.

This is a story of two childhood friends that are destined to fall in love with each other, although it will take Sebastian a bit longer to grasp that concept.

It takes Susannah a few years but she finally captures the attention of this man she always loved.

Another tale well told with fast pace and great characters.

All in all, a very satisfying collection of fun, sweet, intriguing, entertaining and humorous stories that will introduce you to authors you may have not discovered yet.

FREE DOWNLOAD NOW!

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MBM JMacL‘Married by Midnight’ by Julianne MacLean

BOOK BLURB: An Unattainable Rogue…

For seven years, Lord Garrett Sinclair– the ruggedly handsome illegitimate son of the Duke of Pembroke–has been traveling abroad with no intention of ever returning home to Pembroke Palace… until his father commands that he must marry by Christmas in order to thwart a family curse or lose his inheritance forever. Haunted by a tragic accident that has hardened his soul, Garrett entrusts his brothers to seek out a bride who will agree to a marriage in name only. Her reward? A sizable share of his inheritance–payable immediately after the wedding night….

A Beautiful Temptress…

Lady Anne Douglas has been ruined by scandal and disowned by her father. Facing a life of poverty and spinsterhood, she leaps at the generous terms of the marriage contract to ensure her independence. But the charade of a two-week engagement proves more of a challenge than either anticipated when they cannot resist the intoxicating lure of the marriage bed. Anne knows they will part ways after the wedding. Will she dare risk her heart for two weeks of pleasure in the arms of an irresistible rogue? Or will her surrender become her undoing after a most unexpected turn of events mere hours before the wedding?

REVIEWHere’s another author I never got a chance to read, Julianne MacLean.

This is a tale that’s part of a Pembroke Palace series and although I haven’t read any of the other books, I found the story standing on its own very well.

Here we have an old Duke, hero’s father, who believes that if his sons are not married by Christmas, their family is destined to be cursed. In order to foil this curse, he takes it upon himself to insure it never comes to that.

It’s Garrett’s turn to fulfill his father’s will by finally taking a plunge into matrimony.

In enters Anne who with no marriage prospects and dreadful living conditions, is willing to plunge herself into this union.

This is a Victorian period story with a surprisingly strong and complex female character of Anne, who I liked a lot.

I recommend it on that basis alone, but there’s a lot more: it’s well written, interesting and entertaining; great plot and wonderful chemistry between everyone that is in it.

Now I just need to stock up on the earlier books in this series!

*Melanie for b2b

*Books provided by the publisher through NetGalley & purchased by me.

Shana Galen stops by b2b…

NDAD LD‘Never Desire a Duke’ by Lily Dalton

BOOK BLURB: A secret from his past holds the key to their future…

A Marriage Beyond Hope

Lady Sophia has long been estranged from her husband, Lord Vane Barwick, the Marquess of Claxton, whose rumored list of amorous conquests includes almost every beautiful woman of the ton. Yet a shocking encounter with him in a crowded ballroom—and a single touch—are all it takes to reawaken her furious passion for him. But how can she trust the man who crushed her dreams and took away the one thing she wanted most?

A Love Beyond Reason

Lord Claxton has never forgiven himself for the youthful mistake that ruined his marriage to Lady Sophia. Now, after nearly a year abroad, the reformed rogue vows to win back the only woman he’s ever truly loved. He’ll do whatever it takes to prove he can be the honorable husband she deserves—and the passionate lover she desires. As the snowdrifts deepen outside their ancestral home, can they rekindle the flame that burned so bright and find a new path to forever?

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Buy Links: Amazon / B&N

Lily Dalton’s Website / Facebook / Twitter

REVIEW here.

EXCERPT:

As the carriage rumbled away, Vane pivoted on his heel and returned to the house, only to find the door locked. A blast of wind cut through his coat, chilling his spine.

He gripped the handle. “Sophia.”

“Go away,” she cried, her voice muffled by three inches of wood.

Carved into the spandrels at the upper corners of the door, two cherubs crouched above him, peering down with the most vexatious expressions of mirth. He glared back, which, admittedly, accomplished nothing.

“Please open the door.”

In return she bellowed, “Take. The carriage. And leave.”

“Not until we talk.”

He could only interpret the responsive tangle of unintelligible nonsense as a rejection of his request. Turning, he stared out into the night, clenched fists resting on his hips.

From this elevated vantage point, he could not see even the slightest evidence of Lacenfleet in the vale below. A thickening, frost-laden fog made the darkness impenetrable. Old memories tugged at the corner of his mind, but he commanded himself to the present, returning his gloves to his quickly numbing hands.

For a moment, his spirit wavered. Perhaps, after all, he owned too twisted, too tangled a soul to justify claim to Sophia’s respect and love. Perhaps, as Wolverton had said, his efforts came too late.

As if in answer, a vision came into his mind of Sophia on their wedding day, peering up at him during the service from beneath her headdress of feathers and lace, wearing the most astounding expression of unadulterated joy. Then another from their honeymoon in Scotland. Her eyes vivid green, her hair wet, and her chemise plastered transparent against her nymphlike body, as they’d frolicked near naked in the loch. But best of all, the look of shock on her face the moment they’d realized the visiting parson had just discovered them.

Arriving at his decision, Claxton strode toward the remaining carriage.

***

Sophia rubbed at the frosted pane and squinted, watching the carriage disappear into the fog and snow. Astonishingly, Claxton had actually done exactly as she demanded, which only made her feel more wretched.

Now she was alone, with only her misery and the very recent memory of finding her husband in Lady Meltenbourne’s arms. Turning from the window, she faced the silent vestibule. There was nothing to do but have a good, miserable cry.

All at once, the emotion she’d held inside all evening crowded her throat, enormous and unstoppable. Hiccuping through tears, she pressed her hand to her mouth and returned to the scene of her recent trauma. Only to freeze on the threshold.

Claxton sat in a chair beside the fire, staring at her over gloved, steepled fingertips, his hat perched on his knee. Ice crystals sparkled on the shoulders of his coat and in his raven’s wing dark hair.

“Hello, darling,” he said, with a dangerous gleam in his eyes.

His chest rose and fell as if he’d exerted himself in executing whatever trick it had taken to get inside the locked house and into his present position. If he had sent the carriage off, that left her alone with him for the night. A bubble of hysteria rose up inside her.

“Oh, you.” From a nearby table she snatched a figurine and raised it above her head—

“Don’t.” He stood, a vision of dark wool, flashing blue eyes, and utter calm. “That belonged to my great-grandmother.”

Sophia almost hurled the stated heirloom, just to see if its destruction would cause a break in his dispassionate façade. It was no wonder why he had been chosen by the Crown to represent England’s interests abroad. Everything about him screamed of control. But she returned the figurine to its place. After all, she bore no ill will toward Claxton’s great-grandmother, only Claxton. Finding nothing else within arm’s reach suitable for hurling, she rounded the settee to confront him.

“Don’t call me your darling,” she raged, barely able to contain the impulse to leap on him and pummel him with her fists. Even now, the scent of Lady Meltenbourne’s perfume clung to him. It clouded her nostrils, driving her toward the most uncontrolled madness. “You forfeited the right long ago. Why are you even here?”

He muttered something that sounded like “because of Scotland.”

“What did you say?” Sophia demanded.

“I said, because I’m a deuced selfish bastard,” he growled.

“How did you even get inside?” She glared up from beneath the brim of her velvet cap, which she still wore, in addition to her redingote and gloves.

He smiled rather like a wolf, stripping the gloves from his hands, which unnerved her further because it indicated his intention to stay. “Wouldn’t you like to know?”

 ***   ***   ***

2 Books/1 Winner!

‘Never Desire a Duke’ & ‘True Spies’!

*GIVEAWAY International!

 *[eBook or print copy/winner's choice]

Won’t you join our celebration by:

1) Telling us what you liked about this Excerpt and why…

2) Subscribing to our Blog…

3) ‘LIKE’ -ing us on our Facebook!

All 3 required for a TRIPLE chance at Grand Giveaway!

If a follower & FB buddy, just COMMENT!

***   ***   ***

Shana Galen

AUTHOR INFO: Shana Galen is the bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Booklist says “Galen expertly entwines espionage-flavored intrigue with sizzling passion,” and RT Bookreviews calls her “a grand mistress of the action/adventure subgenre.”

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 and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.

Shana loves to hear from readers: visit her Website or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

b2b is Three!

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Someone pinch me! Has it really been THREE years already?! WOW!

Another year just whooshed by me…Personally, it has been another year filled with health issues I just wasn’t ready to deal with, but then when are we, right?!

Through it all I found that my hubby’s love can get me through everything life throws at me and that is a blessing I don’t ever want to take for granted.

As always, I still feel blessed with so many of you that are faithfully stopping by, commenting and making me laugh out loud. Your support is appreciated and always welcome. I’m really humbled by the romance community all over the world!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you all!

This year saw our Krissie leave us, but we welcomed with opened arms two of our faithful followers with their unique reviews, Connie and Leah. I was seriously considering shutting the blog down when they jumped in and literally saved me. Please help me welcome them with a huge HIP-HIP-HOORAY!

Since last year our one month-long PUSH-A-BOOK celebration was such a great hit with readers and authors alike, we thought why mess with something that ain’t broke?

Clipart Illustration of a Bunch Of Floating Party Balloons With

So get ready, our bookworms as we’re kicking off our ONE month long celebration on November 1st with Vanessa Kelly and ending it with Anna Campbell.

Throughout the month we’ve invited some of the most hard-working, amazingly creative and way too talented people in the romance community to stop by and help us celebrate. Our invitations once more answered with so much enthusiasm that we just might schedule some visits in twos and threes!

Here’s just a few of the authors that will be coming over… Delilah MarvelleVicky DreilingEileen DreyerDanelle HarmonMaureen Driscoll, Anna CampbellGrace BurrowesMia MarloweMarilyn BrantVanessa KellyLouise AllenShana Galen, Elise RomeNicola CornickJillian StoneSaralee EtterPatricia RicePriscilla ShayBethanne Strasser, Valerie Bowman, Bella Love, Monica BurnsElla Quinn, Caroline LindenSandra OwensTerri BrisbinVictoria Vane, Jenn LeBlanc, Norah WilsonAmanda ScottDonna CummingsNicky Wells, Marguerite KayeBarbara MonajemSaralee EtterDeborah Doucette, Lila DiPasqua, C.C. HumphreysTracy Anne Warren…and a few surprise guests too! There will be prizes…books, and books and some more books, a bookworm heaven, right? There will be many surprises and a Grand Prize as well!

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Won’t you help us celebrate with:

1) Telling us which ‘Book’ would you like to ‘Push’ and why…

2) Subscribing to our Blog…

3) ‘LIKE’ -ing us on our Facebook!

All three are required for a TRIPLE chance to win in the Grand Giveaway!

However, if you’re already a follower and our FB buddy, all you need do is…COMMENT on the upcoming posts and you’re all set to go. Are you ready to PARTEY?!

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Behind the Scenes: Winn and Elinor from True Spies

TS SGHi, I’m Shana Galen, and I write fast-paced, adventurous Regency romances. My latest is the follow-up to Lord and Lady Spy, and I’m here with Winn and Elinor to talk more about the book. Let’s start with Elinor. Elinor, you’re a mom of two girls. How do you find the time to plan Society functions, attend soirees—all the duties required of a baroness—and still spend time with your husband and kids?

Elinor: As you know, Shana, it has not been easy. The girls are older now and do not need me as much as they did when they were young. I miss that, actually. Winn travels quite a bit, and I find myself rather lonely and seeking a bit of adventure.

Winn: Is that why you’re contemplating an affair?

Elinor: I have no idea what you are referring to, my lord.

Shana: Baron Keating, you have a few secrets of your own. What’s it like being a spy for the Barbican group.

Winn: I’m rather tired of it, if the truth be known. I’d like to spend more time at home. I feel as though I looked around and my wife and my children have all changed and moved on without me.

Shana: That can happen even in my time when men become too wrapped up in work.

Winn: In my defense, I was out there saving the country from the diabolical plan of one of the most sadistic criminal underlords ever known. It was rather important work.

Elinor: And can you believe he kept that from me? I feel like I don’t even know him. We’re virtual strangers.

Winn: I can remedy that. Give me a half hour in your bed chamber, madam. We can very quickly become reacquainted.

Shana: Right, so let’s chat about something else. Readers have been asking about Adrian and Sophia from Lord and Lady Spy.

Winn: Wolf and Saint. They’re some of the best spies in the Barbican group, but they’ve retired.

Shana: Didn’t you meet with Wolf about the case mentioned in True Spies?

Winn: I might have met with him about…something.

Elinor: And I consulted with Sophia. She’s lovely.

Shana: I think the one thing many readers want to know is whether Sophia is indeed pregnant. Can you answer that?

Elinor: Shana, that’s simply not an appropriate topic for mixed company. Your readers will have to read the book to discover that (or a review with a spoiler).

Shana: I wanted to mention this book is based on the film True Lies. Elinor, at one point you have to perform a strip tease. Do you think you measure up to Jamie Lee Curtis’s performance in the film?

Winn: I haven’t seen the film—what is a film?—but personally, I was impressed.

Elinor: No comment.

Shana: Last question. Do you think there’s a chance for the two of you to reconcile? It seems there’s a pretty big chasm separating you.

Elinor: No. I think we must go on living separate lives. I don’t love Winn any more.

Winn: I don’t accept that response. She does still love me, and before the end of the book, I’ll win her back.

Shana: Thanks both of you. I wish you a wonderful happily ever after!

Melanie, thanks for hosting us. Readers, are there any movies you think would make good inspiration for a book? One reader who comments will win a copy of Lord and Lady Spy (U.S. and Canadian residents).

Warning! This agent’s secret identity—and his heart—have been compromised!

Winslow, an elite spy in Regency England, has managed to keep his identity secret from everyone—including his beloved wife Elinor. But his success with these covert affairs has taken a toll on their marriage, leaving Elinor to entertain the idea of a secret liaison with a rakish spy.

She believes she will finally have the danger and excitement her marriage has never afforded her—until things get too dangerous, and she ends up being kidnapped. In this world of intrigue, Elinor discovers that no one is who they seem to be—not even her own husband.

TRUE SPIES BY SHANA GALEN – IN STORES NOW!

To Purchase True Spies:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Books-a-Million
IndieBound
Chapters/Indigo
iBookstore
Sourcebooks

Shana GalenABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shana Galen is the author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the Lord and Lady Spy Series, the Jewels of the Ton Series, as well as the Sons of the Revolution Trilogy. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time, and is working on more regency romance novels! She’s happily married to the Ultimate Sportsfan and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers: visit her website, or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

‘True Spies’ by Shana Galen

TS SGSTORY: He’s weary of deception…

Baron Winslow Keating is honor-bound to finish one last mission as an elite spy for the Barbican group even though he just wants to go home and be with his family. But after years of secrecy and absence, his daughters hardly know him and his wife has given up on him. . .

She wants to try a little intrigue . . .

Elinor has had enough of domestic boredom. She contemplates an affair with a rakish spy, only to discover a world of intrigue and treachery that she never knew existed. Even more shocking, her neglectful husband is suddenly very attentive – quite the jealous type – and apparently there is much more to him than she ever knew . . .

REVIEW: With ‘True Spies’ Ms. Galen continues her Lord and Lady Spy series that I really loved.

The character of Elinor was so well-developed that I could feel her emotions as she’s torn about her feelings toward her husband who it seems that he doesn’t care for her.
I found it very hard to like the hero. It took me more that half the book to start warming up to the guy!
His affection for Elinor wasn’t in evidence as much as was his love for his work and that bothered me all through the read.

‘True Spies’ is a romance between two mature people with children, obligations and a life that has forced both characters to take stock of themselves and their future.

Shana Galen does it again and gives us fast paced, adventure filled, well written romance about a couple trying to rediscover each other all over again. I’ve come to love the dialogue this author created.

It’s sharp, witty, clever, mature and never fails to touch my heart or tickle my funny bone. It’s brilliant!
I swear I can recommend it on dialogue alone, but I must say she plotted this one well too, so if you like a good, solid plot, than you just have to get it.

 

EXTRA REVIEW: ‘Spy Wore Blue’ by Shana Galen

SWB SGSTORY: Blue is the best of the best. A top agent for the elite Barbican group, he’s on the trail of an assassin targeting his fellow spies. Blue’s search leads him to Naples, Italy and the Teatro di San Carlo, where a string of suspicious events makes him believe he may have found his man. Unfortunately, he’s also found a woman—his long-neglected wife.

A brilliant opera singer…

Helena Giles is beautiful, talented, and furious. She taught Blue how to be a master of disguise, and to thank her, he disappeared. When they married, he promised to give up his work for the Barbican group. He gave Helena up instead. Now Blue is back, and he wants a place in the theater and in her bed. Helena doesn’t believe, as the rest of the theater’s cast, that the murders have anything to do with a theater phantom, but she isn’t ready to believe Blue’s theories either.

A dangerous passion…

It’s soon clear the real object of the theater phantom is Blue. And when Helena catches a glimpse of the assassin called Reaper, she becomes a target herself. In Reaper, Blue is finally pitted against his match, and in Helena, he finds a passion he thought he thought impossible. But can this chameleon be true to himself when love is the most dangerous sport of all?

MINI REVIEW: The above blurb just about tells you the story, so I’ll just skip the retelling of it and go straight to the point.

I know I’m not the only one out there that wished, I mean REALLY wished, this story was a full book. I thought Blue deserved it!

Regardless of my wishes, I’ll admit I liked it a lot. It packed a punch in its short format, and you’ll find a bit of everything in it; mystery, suspense, and passion between two very intriguing characters.
And speaking of characters, these two were ON FIRE! Holy smokes! These two were burning up the pages of my Kindle! LOVED IT!

Melanie for b2b

*Books provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

‘When You Give a Duke a Diamond’ by Shana Galen

BOOK BLURB: He had a perfectly orderly life…

William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, enjoys his punctual, securely structured life. Orderly and predictable—that’s the way he likes it. But he’s in the public eye, and the scandal sheets will make up anything to sell papers. When the gossip papers link him to Juliette, one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in London, chaos doesn’t begin to describe what happens next…Until she came along…

Juliette is nicknamed the Duchess of Dalliance and has the cream of the nobility at her beck and call. It’s disruptive to have the duke who is the biggest catch on the Marriage Mart scaring her other suitors away. Then she discovers William’s darkest secret and decides what he needs in his life is the kind of excitement only she can provide…

EXCERPT: 

“You’re coming with me,” he told her. “I don’t know what’s frightening you, but you can explain in my coach.”

“I’m not…” But she looked over her shoulder and seemed to reconsider. “Very well. You do realize, Your Grace”—somehow she made the title sound like an epithet—“that your actions tonight only confirm the rumors about us and incite new ones.”

Reluctantly, Pelham looked over his own shoulder. A crowd of onlookers was watching them, most of them murmuring and whispering behind their hands. He scowled at them, and several scurried away. Others took a step back.

“I’ll squash any further rumors,” Pelham said between clenched teeth.

“Wonderful,” she muttered.

He signaled to his coachman, and his carriage was beside them in mere moments. A footman opened the door and handed the duchess up. He was right beside her. Once inside, he closed the curtains and instructed his coachman to wait.

He turned his attention to the woman across from him and tried not to stare. The color was high in her cheeks, and her eyes were bright. He did not think it possible, but she was even lovelier than when he’d first seen her tonight.

His gaze—completely of its own accord—flicked to her mouth. She’d rouged it, because it was far too perfectly red to be natural. It reminded him of some exotic fruit, and he desperately wanted to sample it. One kiss…

He tightened his hands on his knees. What was wrong with him? He couldn’t kiss her. She wasn’t an acceptable kissing partner in the least. She was a courtesan—a whore. She seduced men for money, and he was falling under her spell.

She narrowed her icy blue eyes at him. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

FEATURED AUTHOR: Shana Galen

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My first RT Convention [my first convention ever]

RT Booklovers Convention is on Baby! It’s happening right now (from April 11 – April 15), and it’s in my town, Chicago and there was no way I could have stayed away from it, not when most of my awesome and talented romance authors and bloggers, would be attending.

It’s Wednesday night and I’m counting days and hours to this weekend. I have only a weekend pass for RT Convention and I’m excited to a point where anxiety is taking over! I think I need some Yoga to calm me down…

Anyways, with my health issues slowly, and I mean about a turtle speed, getting better, I’m just about ready for this event to lift my ‘steroid induced roller-coaster’ of emotions, up.

Yesterday I’ve downloaded the RT’s Agenda and highlighted some things that will be a must attend and some authors that are a must meet.

A NOBLE AFFAIR is on a Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. and it’s a champagne breakfast hosted by NOBLE PUBLISHING, which means I need to rise early…very early [note to self: need to arrange to meet Grace Burrowes there, and oh God I hope I do not swoon when meeting Madam Authoress].

At 11:15 a.m. I’m planning to go to a discussion on THE TROUBLE WITH LAYERS and listen to Loretta Chase, Kieran Kramer, Sarah MacLean, Jade Lee and Sabrina Jeffries [note to self: with so much talent in one room, do not, I repeat-do not embarrass yourself by aping a salivating dog].

In the evening there are a couple of things I’d love to check out and the chance to meet Katharine Ashe, Lorraine Heath, Tessa Dare and Sophie Jordan at AVON’S INDIGO LOUNGE, as well as visit with Heather Graham with NIGHT OF THE STARS GANGSTER CAFE TALENT QUEST, would be an awesome way to end my first day at the convention [note to self: time to get of the med's for this weekend].

As I’m packing some of my favorite books from Mary Balogh, Victoria Alexander, Monica Burns, Shana Galen, Sylvia Day, Emma Wildes, Delilah Marvelle, Heather Snow, Jade Lee, Mia Marlowe and many more, I’m so happy I can’t stand it. Is it Friday yet?!

To all of you bookworms, I promise we’ll have plenty of stuff to giveaway, so get ready for it!

March Madness w/Elise Rome!

Last year Ashley March (aka Elise Rome-or vice-versa) has started this great giveaway that she named ‘MARCH MADNESS’ blog party and in her own words she wanted to “celebrate romance readers, writers, and bloggers. While last year we focused on the historical romance sub-genre, this year we’ve expanded the blog party to include 31 historical romance authors, 31 contemporary romance authors, and 31 paranormal romance authors. In addition, to bring attention to the many talented self-published authors in the romance genre (which includes self-published-only authors as well as authors who have previously been traditionally published), I’ve also included a special section for indie authors, in which you’ll find authors many different romance sub-genres.

While the primary purpose of March Madness is to celebrate the romance genre, I also hope that you’ll find a new author to love. Many of the authors who will be interviewed this year are debut authors, some are New York Times bestsellers, and others carry neither label but are fantastic nonetheless.

In addition to featuring romance authors, I also believe it’s important to feature romance readers and romance bloggers as a way to express my appreciation for all that they do for the genre. Please don’t forget to visit the Readers & Bloggers page throughout March Madness to chime in on your thoughts about the romance genre and show your support!”

So, how much do you like free book?! Well, if you like it as much as I do, you’ll get your ‘bums’ out there and enter the Giveaway, PRONTO! And just an aside: b2b is on tomorrow with a THREE book giveaway! Be sure to stop by and enter!

(Photo courtesy of Salon.com)