Guest Author: Shana Galen & Givaway!

I’m so pleased to be hosting one of my favorite historical romance authors on the blog today.  She’s Shana Galen, and she writes bestselling, Regency-set historical romance that’s both adventurous and sexy.  One of my most enjoyable reads this year was Lord and Lady Spy, which is a great caper story and a wonderful romance with a huge amount of heart.  I loved it!

Shana has a new book out, and she’s here to tell us about it.

Of Dukes and Downton Abbey

Like most of America and the UK, I fell in love with Downton Abbey last year. I’m not much of a TV-watcher, and my husband was so intrigued by my sudden interest, he took watched and was hooked. He’s not a writer, so when the weekly episode was over, it was over for him.

Not so for me. The cast—or at least their images—stayed in my mind. I was writing my September release, When You Give a Duke a Diamond at the time, and some of the actors provided perfect inspiration for my novel’s characters. You can see a few of my choices on my When You Give a Duke a Diamond Pinterest board.

The Duke

I chose Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley on Downton, as the model in appearance for William, the sixth Duke of Pelham. Matthew and Will have almost nothing in common personality-wise. Matthew actually seems to enjoy some leisure on the weekends. Pelham does not know the meaning of the word leisure and does not care to. He’s rigid, staid, and adheres to his routine almost as though it were a lifeline. He has many secrets and a dark past.

And when he meets the Duchess of Dalliance, his routine will never be the same again.

The Diamond

Robin Wright Penn, who played Buttercup in The Princess Bride, has the look of my spontaneous, fun-loving heroine Juliette. Juliette has been dubbed the Duchess of Dalliance, and she’s one of three glamorous courtesans known as The Three Diamonds. She cannot afford to be cut by the powerful Dangerous Duke, but that’s exactly what happens at the Prince Regent’s ball. And then to make matters worse, Juliette witnesses a murder at the ball.

The apparent murder of the Duke of Pelham’s fiancée.

The Jewels

When You Give a Duke a Diamond is the first in a new series, and I introduce several characters who feature prominently in future books. The Countess of Sinclair is one such character. She’s the much pitied wife of the Earl of Sin, the protector (read: lover) of The Three Diamonds. But take one look at my choice for the countess—Maggie Smith in her role as the Dowager Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey—and you’ll know there’s more to the countess than it seems.

You’ll have to visit my other Pinterest boards for pictures of Juliette’s friends Fallon and Lily. They’ll each get their own books, filled with dangerous diamonds and dangerous men.

Do you like to picture “celebrities” as the characters in books? Who are some of your favorites?

 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…

There you have it, folks!  The first book in Shana’s new series.  For my readers today, Shana is giving away a copy of When You Give a Duke a Diamond to those of you in the U.S. or Canada.  Just answer her question about celebrity inspired characters for a chance to win.  And don’t forget to visit her website for more info about her books, and also check out her group blog, The Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills.