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Guest Author: Shana Galen & Giveaway!!

I’m so happy to have one of my favorite romance writers guest-blogging with me today.  Shana Galen is a bestselling author who writes fast-paced and adventurous Regency-set historicals.  Her books are published all over the world and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs, and she’s one darn good author.  Shana has a new book out, so I’m turning the blog over to her so we can find out all about it.

Oh, For a Muse of Fire

People always ask me about my inspiration for books. I dread this question because I don’t generally have an inspiration for a book. I honestly don’t know where my ideas come from. They just come.

But you wouldn’t believe that, would you? And that doesn’t make for a very good interview or blog or story. What makes for a good interview is dreaming a book and then waking up and writing it or having a character appear out of nowhere to inspire the authorial muse.

Yeah. I don’t have a story like that. But I will say now that If You Give a Rake a Ruby is about to release, and I’m thinking about it after a period of time away, some of the inspirations are becoming clear to me. One look at my Pinterest board tells me that Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twistinspired me. In fact, the heroine of If You Give a Rake a Ruby was based very loosely on the character of Nancy from Oliver Twist.

Rubies and gems and lush colors and fabrics also inspired me. Fallon is a courtesan, one of the glamorous Three Diamonds. She’s known as the Marchioness of Mystery. Having been denied beauty as a child, she embraces it as an adult. She’s surrounded by silks and velvets and pillows in jewel-tones.

But I also had pictures of Seven Dials, a notorious London slum, before me as I was writing this novel. I didn’t want to forget where Fallon came from. You can take the girl from the gutter, but can you take the gutter from the girl? I don’t think you can completely.

So perhaps I am not so much uninspired as just unaware of my inspirations. I see them more clearly with time and distance.

What about you? What inspires you? Photos of beautiful gowns, landscapes, or handsome men? Maybe it’s a great book, an exciting movie, or your favorite music. One reader who comments will win a copy of If You Give a Rake a Ruby (U.S. and Canada only).

If You Give a Rake a Ruby  by Shana Galen—in stores March 2013

HER MYSTERIOUS PAST IS THE BEST REVENGE . . .

Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She’s adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.

ONLY HE CAN OFFER HER A DAZZLING FUTURE . . .

Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London. He knows he’s putting his life on the line . . .

To Warrick’s shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she’s keeping are exactly what make her his heart’s desire . . .

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Vanessa, here.  I’m not kidding when I tell you how much I love Shana’s books–she’s one of my favorite authors.  So run, don’t walk to pre-order If You Give a Rake a Ruby.  And be sure to check out Shana’s website to learn about her other books.

61 thoughts on “Guest Author: Shana Galen & Giveaway!!

  1. Hi
    Great blog today! I read If you give a Duke a Diamond and absolutely loved it. I am so looking forward to reading this new one in the series.
    The things that inspires are tees, mountains and landscapes! I just love trees!
    Penney

    • Penny, nature is very inspiring. Sometimes when I get stuck, I’ll go for a walk. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for letting me know you enjoyed WYGADAD.

  2. Welcome Shana! Hello Kelly. I would agree that I don’t know what inspires me too. Other people and books most of the time. But for writing, I’m not sure. I just have this wild imagination sometimes that I just can’t help but have. Many of them do come from books, movies, and landscapes scenes. Sometimes it just comes from a scene in a book or film that I truly just had to change and make it go my way. It would really have to be that frustrating for me to want to change it but sometime I just do it for the heck of wanting to make a new story out of it. :) I would say my many authors inspires me.

    • Ki Pha, like you, authors also inspire me. I see my favorite author doing something new or different, or really pushing the envelope, and it inspires me to work harder.

  3. Welcome Shana! Hi Kelly! Shana, I think your answers about your inspiration is very thought provoking. Seeing something, whatever it may be, can come back to you at anytime as a story or just a character. If You Give a Rake A Ruby sounds very interesting. I love when a character isn’t what everyone around thinks they are. Good luck with you newest release.

  4. I have loved reading all of Shana’s books. I like what you say about your inspirations. Too many say they had a dream and this is what it was. My inspirations are my children. The four of them keep me on my toes and on the go.

    • April, my daughter is definitely an inspiration to me too. She doesn’t inspire me to write much, though. She usually tells me I am done working :-)

  5. Beautiful gowns… Love them… Makes me feel like a princess… and just pretty even if I am only looking at them!

  6. Inspiration comes in so many forms, but I think that it mostly comes (for me, at least) on the forms of nature and music. Certain songs on the radio inspire certain emotions, and when I am writing a certain emotional piece, I play certain songs in the background. For instance, if I were to write about a soldier not coming home to his young wife, I would play “Just a Dream” by Carrie Underwood. If you’ve never heard it or never saw the video, bring the tissues if you do. It expresses that exact raw emotion that would inspire me to write on it.

    • Sandy, music really does evoke so many feelings and emotions. Nature too. Sometimes when I’m outside, there will be a certain smell or feel about the wind that brings back memories of another time or place.

  7. My inspiration is my family. Most of what I do is for them. My one indulgence is chocolate, any shape or form.

  8. Hi Shana,
    Just finished reading an eARC of Fallon’s story last night. *applauding* Review coming so I’m not saying anything more. I’ll just say that I’d love to win a copy so I can reread at my leisure. ; )
    I’m inspired by just about anything – music, pictures, fashions, documentaries, even news items. It’s what I love about our imaginations – it can take you anywhere.

  9. thanks for the fun post and congrats to Shana on the new release! Just Got Diamond for my Kindle and I can’t wait to start reading :)

    I get inspired by interesting articles and new stories from real life. The most recent one I read was of a man and son who found a $6000 diamond ring literally in the street and went waay out of their way to find the owners. Turned out the best man lost the ring right before the wedding and the bride and groom were ecstatic to get it back!

  10. Inspiration to me is waking up to a new day full of love and laughter. Reading book by various authors is exciting and leaves one with happiness.

  11. Hi Shana, love your books. Just pre ordered If You Give a Rake a Ruby. I am inspired by nieces and the things they say. I love talking to them to get their perspective on things. I ask them questions and can’t wait to hear what they think. Especially the 3yr. old. Do you think you will do a novella on Nick and Ashley’s story?

    • Rhonda, I have a 3-year-old so I completely understand! Yes, I will write Nick and Ashley’s story, but it probably won’t be until my daughter is in school more hours of the day.

  12. Bonjour Kelly and Shana!
    I am inspired by the little daily moments of life. Sometimes it is something I see or feel when I look at a beautiful landscape or seascape! It can be a beautiful book! Anything, that makes me feel good about myself! And makes my life happier. Have fun! bonne journée!

  13. Hi Shana and Vanessa. I love the cover to If You Give A Rake a Ruby.
    Music and nature inspire me.

  14. Reading and listening to music inspires me. I was reading a book when I felt writing my thoughts might be a good idea. It actually started at a journal then it progress to my little blog. Reading actual inspires me to learn more.

  15. Love this series and I’m sure this latest is going to be wonderful. Inspiration is all around us – from nature to people surviving day-to-day.

  16. Hi Shana, thanks for sharing your inspirations for the book. As for me, I find inspiration in nature and soothing music. Sometimes I just get in a sort of trance that allows me to create, other times I might have to sit for a while staring at the walls until I reach that mood.

  17. I’ll choose all of the above Shana. :D I love beautiful landscapes especially, but of course a lovely gown or handsome man is inspiring. And a great book, movie or a wonderful song can really make me feel like I can do anything.

    • Why not choose all of the above, Barbara? I know at different times in my life, different things inspired me. Sometimes movies, sometimes nature, sometimes people.

  18. Um. Um. Um…. All of the above???? ;-) Really, inspiration is everywhere. If you’re in the right mood it is, anyway *g*

  19. I guess nature — the warmth of the sun, the touch of the breeze, the changing colors & sounds. With the cold & greyish weather of winter (while not as bad here as elsewhere, it still stinks), hearing birds chirping loudly & hearing/seeing geese flying overhead one morning this past weekend was wonderful :) congrats on your latest release, & however your muse is inspired, keep with it as it obviously works :)

    • Donna Ann, this time of year I am definitely inspired by nature. The weather in Houston is beautiful. But in the summer, I have to stay out of the heat because it zaps all energy and creativity. maybe it’s a good thing my books are usually due in Spring and Fall.

  20. Shana – I loved WHEN YOU GIVE A DUKE A DIAMOND and can’t wait to read Fallon’s story!

    I think anything can inspire you, depending on your mood.

  21. Inspiration: Spring. May seem like wishful thinking right now but every year there is, for me, a moment when the sun strikes through barely green leaves with a promise of joy.

    • Lisa, music can definitely impact my mood. I don’t usually listen to it when working, but if I’m feeling down, i always put something upbeat on.

  22. My inspiration has always been my parents. They were part of “The Greatest Generation” and as such lived through some of the USA’s roughest years. Yet, they looked at life as something to be savored and at family as their greatest gift. They were best friends before they were anything else and taught their children to value ‘the little things in life’.

    • Betty, I so agree with this. My dad is a member of TGG. He turns 90 this summer, and he’s still the best guy I know. My hubby comes in a close second, though!

    • This is my grandparents, Betty. They have a different way of looking at life than people today, and when I need a boost, I talk to them. They always put things in perspective.

  23. My kids inspire me everyday. They are adults now and I am amazed at what great people they are, although now that they are adults I have more time to read. That is a win win for me, great kids and more time.

  24. Music has always been an inspiration to me. It is a part of almost everything I’ve been involved in. I was in Marching Band throughout high school and college, I was a Dance Major and I was a part of Sigma Alpha Iota – a women’s music fraternity.