Spotlight on Shana Galen and ‘While You Were Spying’!

This is a special Birthday treat for me! Having Shana Galen stop by is always fun and today we have five questions I’m dying to hear the answers to, so…here we go…

Which scenes were easy/hard to write in this story?

The easiest (if any scenes are easy) were those with Francesca and her mother. Her mother was fun to write. The hardest scenes were those where Francesca has to talk about the abuse she suffered in the past.

You’re at a magazine rack and can only pick three titles. Which ones do you choose?

I rarely read magazines, but I’d probably get Writer’s Digest, Publisher’s Weekly, and Romantic Times Bookreviews. Then I’d know how to write better and what new books are out!

If your TV carried just three shows or networks, what would they be?

Outlander, Downton Abbey and Sprout (for my daughter)

What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?

11

Skinny Cow Chocolate filled with Caramel, Skinny Pop Popcorn and Emerald Cocoa Roasted Almonds

What’s a movie that you can watch over and over again?

Sliding Doors

How about you? Can you answer some of these?

Galen, Shana- While You Were Spying (final) 300 px @ 72   dpi low resBOOK BLURB: Francesca Dashing would like to forget that Ethan Caxton, the Marquess of Winterbourne, exists. He humiliated her in front of all of London Society—and he doesn’t even remember it! But when Ethan shows up in her sleepy Hampshire town, he’s hard to overlook, and his presence stirs up long-buried feelings. Francesca tries to keep her distance…until her life is threatened and the mysterious and handsome marquess comes to her rescue, in more ways than she ever thought possible.

Winterbourne has traveled to Hampshire on orders from the Foreign Office—he’s investigating an arms smuggling ring and is determined to find its leader. Miss Dashing stumbles into his way—literally—and derails both Ethan’s assignment and his ordered country life. Ethan knows he needs to ignore the distraction, but when Francesca is the victim of a vicious attack, he’s compelled to put aside his mission to protect her. Guarding the viscount’s daughter is work, nothing more, and Ethan has no plans to let down his guard…until Francesca’s chocolate-brown eyes and endless compassion melt the ice in his heart and lay siege to his defenses.

BUY LINKS: Kindle  / iTunes  / Kobo  / Nook  / Google Play 

EXCEPT:

Ethan never saw the web, didn’t even realize he’d been caught, held fast in its silky, glittering strands.

“Cara! My darling, darling Francesca! Mia figlia preziosa!” A tall, slim woman with a cap of short platinum curls seized upon the girl as soon as the majordomo shut the door behind them. It clanked like the door to a prison cell.

“Mamma,” the girl choked out. The force of the woman’s embrace was such that the girl stumbled backward, and Ethan barely had time to step aside in order to avoid a collision.

“Mia figlia!” Her mother, who from her horrendous accent was obviously not Italian, pulled back, grasping her daughter’s shoulders. The woman’s voice echoed through the gray-and-white marble entrance hall, bouncing off the busts and marble statues lining the walls.

“Impossible!” She bodily turned her small daughter by the shoulders. “Look at you. Dov’è stato? I have been so worried.”

“You have?” The girl blinked. “Why?”

But Ethan doubted the woman heard her daughter’s breathy reply. The lady’s dark blue eyes, sharp as fangs, sunk into him.

“And—mamma mia—can this be—? Is this gallant gentiluomo Lord Winterbourne?” She released her daughter and gave a deep curtsy. “An honor, your lordship.” She spread her dun-colored skirts, fluttering her eyelashes at him.

Over her mother’s bowed form, the girl struggled to refrain from rolling her eyes.

“Lord Winterbourne,” she continued, when her mother had risen. “Lady Brigham. My mother.” The last was said with a sigh. The woman offered her hand to Ethan.

He shook off his daze, took her hand, and kissed the woman’s gloved knuckles. “A pleasure to renew your acquaintance, Lady Brigham.”

“Non, Signore. The pleasure is all mine.”

Ethan stepped back, and Lady Brigham appeared to study him. The hair on the back of his neck prickled. She pressed one finger to her lip with slow, exaggerated taps then held it there and narrowed her eyes. “And what, pray tell, is your business in Hampshire, my lord?”

Ethan was only too familiar with the woman’s tone of voice. It oozed matrimonial insinuation. Lady Brigham raised her eyebrows and looked sidelong at her daughter. Miss Dashing appeared to have shrunk six inches.

“I’m visiting my brother at Grayson Park.”

“Ah, the earl.” Lady Brigham drew in a breath, her white gauzy fichu swelling like a sail.

“I see.” The finger tapped at her lips again as she exhaled. “But surely Francesca did not wander as far as the Park?” The unasked question hovered in the air, and he was thankful the girl snatched at it.

“No, Mamma. Lord Winterbourne was riding, and we met purely by chance. He offered to escort me home.” She spoke quickly, obviously hoping to move the conversation along.

Lady Brigham’s eyes widened. Ethan swore he saw them glitter.

“I see.”

Damn. This was why he avoided Society. Spend ten minutes with an unmarried miss, and you were suddenly betrothed. “Is Lord Brigham at home? I’d like to speak with him.”

The woman inhaled sharply, her eyes almost popping from their sockets. “Oh! I see!”

Ethan frowned. Beside him, the girl closed her eyes, looking mortified. The devil take him if he hadn’t inadvertently confirmed her mother’s matrimonial hopes. He had no patience for this. “If the viscount is not at home,” Ethan plowed on, “I’ll wait in the library—”

“You will do no such thing!” Lady Brigham clapped her hands three times in rapid suggestion. “You must join us in the drawing room.” She gestured to the dark, formidable doors at the end of the entrance hall.

“Thank you, Lady Brigham, but—”

“Call me Signora, per favore.”

Ethan took a deep breath. “Signora. When do you expect—”

She turned and walked away, shoes clicking loudly on the floor as she passed the numerous Roman statues adorning the niches in the echoing hall.

Ethan didn’t move for a long moment. Had the woman actually cut him off and walked away from him? Him? A marquess. Who the devil did she think—?

“I must warn you I am determined to at least offer you some refreshment.” Lady Brigham held up a hand, stopping in front of a bust of some Caesar or other. “There is no use arguing, I’m afraid.” She gave him a sly smile. “It’s the very least I can do for a gentiluomo who’s asked to see Francesca’s father.” She opened the door to the drawing room and glided inside.

Ethan ground his teeth, then watched as the girl plodded after her mother.

His every instinct told him entering that room would be a mistake. He’d be trapped, alone with the crazed, Italian-squawking woman. He looked back along the entryway toward the door.

The majordomo stepped behind him, cutting off his exit. “My lord.” The man indicated the drawing room with a graceful gesture.

Damn. Outmaneuvered, Ethan took a step forward. He could almost feel the invisible silk strands tighten around him.

shana-galenAUTHOR BIO: 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 so feel free to talk to her on any of her social media sites.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website  / Facebook  / Twitter  / Tsu  / Google +  / Pinterest 

‘While You Were Spying’ by Shana Galen

Galen, Shana- While You Were Spying (final) 300 px @ 72   dpi low resSTORY: Francesca Dashing would like to forget that Ethan Caxton, the Marquess of Winterbourne, exists. He humiliated her in front of all of London Society—and he doesn’t even remember it! But when Ethan shows up in her sleepy Hampshire town, he’s hard to overlook, and his presence stirs up long-buried feelings. Francesca tries to keep her distance…until her life is threatened and the mysterious and handsome marquess comes to her rescue, in more ways than she ever thought possible.

Winterbourne has traveled to Hampshire on orders from the Foreign Office—he’s investigating an arms smuggling ring and is determined to find its leader. Miss Dashing stumbles into his way—literally—and derails both Ethan’s assignment and his ordered country life. Ethan knows he needs to ignore the distraction, but when Francesca is the victim of a vicious attack, he’s compelled to put aside his mission to protect her. Guarding the viscount’s daughter is work, nothing more, and Ethan has no plans to let down his guard…until Francesca’s chocolate-brown eyes and endless compassion melt the ice in his heart and lay siege to his defenses.

REVIEW: This story is a prequel to the Regency Spies series and it hits the shelves [although you can pre-order anytime before] on April 7th.

As a long time fan of this author [until recently I was only five books short away from having ALL of her books!] I am always happy to find out she’s got a new book for me to devour.

She never fails to capture my imagination with her well written/plotted, fast-paced and always intriguing and complex characters. If an author manages to make you care for her hero and heroine, she has done her job well, and Shana does this to me with each story she tells.

Our heroine, Francesca, was such a breath of fresh air! Every time she pops in, I picture a “Pied Piper” [think stray animals] and just can’t help but smile. Her kindness and loyalty surprised me only because she was put through so much pain and I thought a lesser woman would have been bitter, but not this woman. Despite her vulnerability, she displayed strength that was second to none.

And then there is Ethan… sigh… This man was one of the dreamiest heroes I’ve come across lately. No joke! He’s not just handsome and dashing, seductive and appealing, but he’s a spy too! But what I loved about him too, was his vulnerability as well. His past prevented him to trust Francesca at the beginning, but once that obstacle was gone, watch out!

It comes as no surprise to me that I loved this tale. Shana Galen has a knack for telling spy stories that are intriguing, interesting and vastly entertaining. They are action and humor filled with a sensual romance at its core. But none of that would have mattered to me if I wasn’t connecting to the hero and heroine. It’s Shana’s characters that keep me yearning for more of her stories.

If your tastes run close to mine, and if you like to laugh and cry while rooting for the villains to get their just deserts, than you must read this story.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

‘All I Want for Christmas is Blue’ by Shana Galen

aiwfcib sgSTORY: The thrilling follow-up to Shana Galen’s popular Lord and Lady Spy novella The Spy Wore Blue!

This Christmas, retired spy Blue and his wife Helena have more to worry about than a holiday ball with his frosty parents. Months ago Blue promised Helena to put her first in his life and retire from spying.

But when operatives from his past suddenly reappear, Blue will have to choose between the love of his life and the mission that could prove too enticing to refuse.

REVIEW: Lord Ernest is the sixth son of the Duke and Duchess of Ely and the tenth of eleven children.  Now retired from his service for the crown, he spends most of his time at the opera in Covent Garden where his wife, Helena, is a singer.  She is vehemently opposed to him returning to this work.  When he worked for the crown, his code name was “Blue” as he has bright blue eyes.  He is constantly being asked to return to his work but he refuses.

His parents do not approve of his marriage to Helena, however, they relented and agreed to attend his parents’ elaborate Christmas Eve ball.  At the ball, his parents try to pair him with debutantes while his brothers dance with Helena.  As they are very serious about their dislike of his marriage to Helena and are willing to go to any lengths to break them up.  Will they be successful?  Will Ernest be content to follow Helena as she continues her work?  What about Blue’s love for the work he has done for the crown?  Where will all of this end up?

This novella is cleverly written to show just how much Blue and Helena mean to one another.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

‘Love and Let Spy’ by Shana Galen

sg lalsSTORY: Her name is Bonde, Jane Bonde . . .

A beautiful and eligible member of the ton, Jane has more than a few secrets: she’s one of the Crown’s most elite agents. She may be deadly, but she doesn’t know a thing about fashion, flirtation, or love . . . until Dominic Griffyn shakes up her carefully stirred world and asks her to be his bride. He’s exactly the kind of man she’s not looking for. And he’s dangerous, because falling into his arms is so much more satisfying than saving England from her enemies.

He’s an improper gentleman who needs a wife. . .

Tall, dark, and tortured, Dominic Griffyn is haunted by demons from his past. When his stepfather insists that he marry, Dominic allows himself to hope that the beautiful but mysterious Miss Bonde might help him forget his troubles. As they grow closer, it’s clear that there’s more to Jane than danger. She might be just what his neglected heart needs

REVIEW: It is 1816 and Miss Jane Bonde, a beautiful, slender young woman with blonde hair and blue eyes is happy with her life and has no desire to get married.  Why, you ask?

Because Jane is a spy and a darn good one at that!  Jane lives with her uncle and guardian who has taught her the spy craft.  Now, he is informing her that it is time she gets married.  Balking at his request, Jane wants to continue with her work to catch a very elusive French spy.

At age 32, Dominic Griffyn, stepson of Lord Edgeberry, Marquess of Edgeberry, has also been informed that it is past time that he marries and the families are pairing him up with Jane Bonde.  

Both Jane and Dominic aren’t really keen on this marriage decision but have no choice.  When Dominic discovers Jane’s secret career, he inadvertently ends up joining her on some missions.  Jane does not want Dominic with her because she works better alone.  Their escapades are dangerous and scary, but also humorous at times.

The novel is loosely based on James Bond’s “Live and Let Die” which adds some tongue-in-cheek humor to the story that will have the reader laughing.  But there are some poignant scenes that will touch your heart as well.

This is the third novel of Ms. Galen’s spy series.  The first two novels are “Lord and Lady Spy” and “True Spies.”  Shana Galen has an amazing talent for writing spy novels which has resulted in a huge following.

Connie for b2b

‘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.

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.