It’s been a privilege to interview Shana and learn more behind the scenes news about her and her books. Please join me in welcoming the author of fast-paced, adventurous Regency romance.
Shana, what were your five favorite books growing up? Please tell us why you loved these books.
One of my favorite books was The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe. My mom read my sister and me a chapter every night. I loved the world of Narnia and snuggling with my mom, listening to her voice as she read. Nancy Drew books were also a favorite. I think I enjoyed trying to figure out they mystery as Nancy did. The Star Wars movie books, believe it or not, were precious to me. My copy of The Empire Strikes Back was dog-eared. I marked all the kissing scenes with Han and Leia. When I was a little older, I enjoyed Stephen King and Anne Rice. I loved the angst-ridden romanticism of Rice’s vampires and the scare I got from King’s Salem’s Lot. I still remember staying up all night because I was scared a vampire might come tap on my window. And I still think Anne Rice’s The Vampire Lestat has the best first lines of any book, save Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
I am the vampire Lestat. I’m immortal. More or less. The light of the sun, the heat of an intense fire—these things might destroy me. But then again, they might not.
What two things would surprise your fans the most about you?
That I am a big vampire Lestat fan! Also that I’m a vegetarian.
Do you have any unique writing habits?
Please share your process on how you developed the “Misadventures in Matrimony” series.
The idea came from a workshop I attended where the speaker discussed Gretna Green marriages. She told the true story of an anvil priest named Joseph Paisley. He married hundreds of couples, but he had a bit of a drinking problem. One time he accidentally performed a double marriage and married the wrong brides to the wrong grooms. I knew that was a story right there. And I wanted to write both brides’ books, but of course, Paisley’s mistake was actually the right thing for the couples. So I came up with four friends who form a Spinster’s Club because they don’t want to marry. And then I married all of them in fun, crazy ways, the last two books in the series being about the girls who marry in the mixed up ceremony at Gretna Green.
Is there a song that makes you think of your book The Pirate Takes a Bride? What about the music moves you?
I probably listened to the music from Frozen and the Barbie movies most when I was writing the book (not by choice), but when my daughter wasn’t with me, I can remember listening to “Start Somewhere” by Toby Mac a dozen or so times. I like the way he sings about the couple’s arguments because Nick and Ashley have a pretty barbed relationship at the start of the book.
Here’s the first verse of the song:
Last night, everything was movin’ so fast
I could barely keep track
Oh, of my offenses or your defenses
In hindsight, I woulda, coulda, shoulda not gone there
But left without a word to spare
Was it your offenses or my defensiveness?
What is your favorite period in history? Why?
The Regency for sure. I love the fashion, the political situation, the stories of the real people who lived during that time—Byron, Brummell, Prinny—and all the societal strictures and rules. It was such a time of contrasts and hypocrisy.
What were the easiest and hardest parts about writing The Pirate Takes a Bride?
The hardest parts were the ship battles. I don’t know much about sailing, so I had to ask my dad for a lot of help, and that meant a lot of boring lectures on wind gauge. The easiest parts were the love scenes. I liked the chemistry between Nick and Ashley.
What’s next up for Shana Galen? Would you be willing to share a little about works in progress or an upcoming book?
The last book in my Lord and Lady Spy series, Love and Let Spy, is out in August, and then in October I’m part of a Christmas anthology with Grace Burrowes, Carolyn Jewel, and Miranda Neville. It’s four novellas all set at an inn in the country, and we’ve tentatively titled it Christmas in the Duke’s Arms. And then in January 2015, I’ll release a novella that starts my new Covent Garden Cubs series. It’s titled The Viscount of Vice and it’s followed in February by the first book in that series, which is Earls Just Want To Have Fun.
- Favorite color? purple
- Favorite animal? cat
- Favorite vacation spot? England
- Favorite food? Milkduds (does that qualify as a food?)
- Favorite holiday? Christmas
Thank you again, Shana, for joining EmbracingRomance.com’s readers today!
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Excerpt from Chapter One
Nicholas Richard Martingale, second son of the late Marquess of Blackthorne, was sorry. He was sorry he’d followed his brother to Gretna Green. He was sorry he’d bowed to Jack’s—devil take him—wishes and agreed to wed Lady Madeleine. And he was especially sorry he hadn’t married Lady Madeleine because the goddamn anvil priest had been so drunk he’d made a muddle of the ceremony. How did a priest manage to marry the wrong couples?
Nick bent over the priest’s unconscious form. He pried the marriage certificate out of his hand and read his death sentence.
This is to certify to all it may concern that Nicholas Martingale…
Nick grit his teeth and skimmed down.
…and Ashley Brittany…
Nick closed his eyes momentarily.
…being now both here and present, and having declared to me that they are single persons, have now been married after the manner of the Laws of Scotland…
“Is it still true?” Ashley asked, coming up behind him. The light from the low fire in the hearth made her wheat blond hair look like spun gold falling in waves down her back. Her sea green eyes gazed at him, and, as always, he felt his chest tighten. She was so beautiful. So beautiful it hurt to look at her.
He looked away. “Congratulations, sweetheart, you’re still married to me.”
She scowled at him and ripped the certificate from his hand, perusing it for herself. He studied her as she read. Her dark green undergown with the gauzy overlay had undoubtedly been the height of fashion when she donned it a few days ago. Now the gauze was ripped, the green material stained, and the fichu tucked at her bosom to preserve modesty was all askew. At one point during their travels she must have had to dress herself and been unable to fasten all of the hooks and eyes in the back because the gown was too loose and one shoulder kept sliding down. “How did this happen?” she moaned.
“Well, you stood there, and I stood here—”
“No, no, no!” She covered her face with her hands. “I wasn’t supposed to marry anyone. I was Maddie’s chaperone.”
“You? A chaperone?”
She fisted her hands on her hips, wrinkling the certificate in the process. “Well, someone had to chaperone her. She was going to elope with that Mr.—I don’t even remember his name. The dog-breeder. I couldn’t allow her to run off with him alone. If you and your brother hadn’t waylaid the carriage, I would have convinced her the entire elopement was folly.”
“We did not waylay your carriage. We merely accompanied you on your jaunt to Gretna Green.”
“Because of you, the Duke of Bleven’s men shot at us! We were almost killed!”
That much was true. He should have never insulted the duke, but he couldn’t regret saving the poor housemaid the bastard was intent on raping.
He pointed a finger at her. “Don’t forget your father and Lord Castleigh shot at us as well. That’s how we lost the dog-breeder.”
She blew out a breath. “Fathers are supposed to shoot at men eloping with their daughters.”
“I didn’t want to elope with you or with Lady Madeleine!” Nick protested. “I was trying to save her reputation!”
She rolled her eyes. “As though you are some sort of hero. If you were a hero, you would have at least married the right woman!”
Nick gaped at her, too angry to even argue. Finally, he sputtered, “The priest was drunk. That’s not my fault!”
“Oh, stubble it.” She balled the marriage certificate and threw it at his chest. “Stop talking for once and do something. Fix this.” She gestured toward the priest, snoring loudly on the floor of the blacksmith’s shop.
Nick clenched his fists to keep from throttling her. “And what exactly do you want me to do?”
“Wake him up. Make him do the ceremony over.”
Nick peered closely at the unconscious priest. “This one’s not going to wake for some time.” He pried the jug of brandy from the man’s plump hand and put it to his mouth. Only a trickle of the sweet liquor flowed over Nick’s tongue. Would nothing go his way? “He’s out for the night.”
Ashley frowned, his pronouncement quite obviously not what she wanted to hear. He didn’t particularly give a damn right now. He didn’t want to be married to her any more than she wanted him. In fact, he’d done everything in his power to avoid this fate.
And here he was anyway.
Nick didn’t care for Lady Madeleine one way or the other, but he would have much preferred being leg-shackled to her than Ashley Brittany—a woman who made his head spin every time he looked at her. A woman who had tried her damnedest to see him killed by sending her bloodthirsty eldest brother after him. She hadn’t counted on Nick besting Thomas Brittany and sending the lad back with a bloody nose and a broken finger. She was no saint. He would do well to remember that—and remind her as often as possible.
“Well, at least try to wake him,” Ashley demanded, pointing at the priest.
Nick stepped back and opened his arms wide. “You want to try, you’re welcome to it, sweetheart. I’m going to see if my brother and Lady Madeleine have come up with anything better.”
“Fine. And stop calling me sweetheart.”
“You prefer another sobriquet? Because I can think of a few that fit you far better than sweetheart.”
“And I can think of several choice names for you. Starting with—”
He put a finger over her lips silencing her. “Save them for later.” He winked. “When we’re alone.”
He turned and strolled out the back door, leaving her to call a sampling of her favorite epithets after him.
Want more? Read the first three chapters on my website (click “website” to find the excerpt).
Ashley Brittany is living a nightmare. She’s been mistakenly married to the one man she despises. Months ago, Lord Nicholas took her virtue then scorned her. Now, Ashley will do anything to have her revenge . . . anything but expose her ugly secret.
Nick Martingale has a secret, too: he’s Captain Robin Hood, a pirate with a fearsome reputation. But when Nick learns his archenemy, the Barbary pirate Yussef, attacked innocents Nick has sworn to protect, he can think of nothing but vengeance.
Only one person stands in his way.
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, so send her an email or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.
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