Shana Galen
Shana Galen


giveaway, Historical Romance, Shana Galen

I’m not the kind of author who crafts really great villains. In fact, I sort of prefer for my hero or heroine to be their own worst enemy. It’s more interesting to me in some ways. I do love reading a great villain. I think Nora Roberts writes great villains. Julie Garwood has some good ones too. There are lots of romantic suspense authors who write great villains. They really get into the head of the serial killer, which pretty much just creeps me out.

Sapphires Are an Earl's Best Friend

So you might be surprised to learn that in Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend, which is out today (woohoo!), I have not one but two villains! I’m not really sure how that happened. I’m tempted to blame it on Princess Galen. She is oddly attracted and repelled by villains. On the one hand, she is terrified of the movie Sleeping Beauty because of the “evil Maleficent.” She has imposed a moratorium on movie trailers because we saw the Maleficent trailer before Frozen back in November. To this day, she won’t enter a movie theater until all the trailers have ended.


Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie

On the other hand, her favorite game is playing Laverna with a frog puppet (long story). If you don’t know, Laverna is a villain in the Barbie Fairytopia movies. I have to play Laverna, and Princess Galen’s job is to defeat Laverna. But Laverna is also her friend. She shows her Laverna puppet her artwork, her new outfits, and any special news.



Maybe we’re all both drawn to and repelled by villains. I know they are some of the more interesting characters I write. In Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend, one villain is Lucifer. He is the owner of a gambling hell in London. He’s after the man he believes stole a valuable list of spies’ secret identities. The man Lucifer suspects is our other villain, the Duke of Ravenscroft. The heroine, Lily, is investigating him because the Crown sispects he might be a vile double agent known as Artemis. Is he Artemis or simply falsely accused? That’s Lily’s job to discover, and she has her work cut out for her, considering the duke’s son is suspicious of her and won’t let her out of his sight. Added to that problem, Lily’s always been in love with Andrew, the Earl of Darlington.

It was a fun book to write, even if it meant balancing two villains. Who are some of your favorite villains? One person who responds will win a copy of When You Give a Duke a Diamond and If You Give a Rake a Ruby (U.S. and Canada only).

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Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend

Lily Dawson, dubbed the Countess of Charm, has the gentlemen of the ton eating out of her hand—all but one. As one of The Three Diamonds, Lily has borne her share of scandal, but none so great as the scandal that forced her into a the role of a courtesan. But there’s more to Lily than a pretty face. What better disguise for a secret agent than that of a courtesan?

Andrew Booth-Payne, Earl of Darlington, is in love with Lily’s best friend. He wants to hate Lily for taking up with his father. When he discovers there’s more to her flirtation with his father than greed, he knows he must help her uncover a traitor, even if that traitor is his own father.




36 thoughts on “Villains

  1. Mary Anne Landers says:

    Thank you, Shana. I too dig a good villain.

    You’ve already cited the one that scared the bejesus out of me when when I was a kid, Maleficent—in the original Disney version of “Sleeping Beauty”, of course. To my mind she still sets the standard for fairy-tale evil.

    But she’s not alone. Another great literary/cinematic villainess, one readily comparable to Maleficent, is is the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz”. That movie has been tongue-in-cheekly described as the ultimate chick flick. Two women fighting over shoes.

    I also dig Darth Vader, at least in the early “Star Wars” movies. There he’s the ultimate embodiment of evil in general and ruthless authority in particular, sort of a Satan for geeky liberals. But I don’t care for what he became in the later prequel entries in the series, a good guy who made some bad decisions. Making a character more complex doesn’t always work. Vader made a far greater impact when he was simply bad.

    Good luck with the release of “Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend”!

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      Great villains, Mary Anne. How could I forget Darth Vader. He’s the best, and I love how he ends up being good in the end.

  2. Laurie W G says:

    Cruella De’vil 101 Dalmations
    Lex Luther- Superman
    Queen Ravenna- Snow White and the Huntsman
    Queen in Snow White

    Ursula the Seawitch in The Little Mermaid

    I agree with Darth Vader but The Emperor was pure evil- Star Wars
    Silence of the Lamb- villain=Dr Hannibal Lecter

    Ann Voss Peterson’s serial killer Dryden Kane, Romantic Suspense author

    Do not include me in the book giveaway. I’m reading your books right now.

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      Thank you for reading the books, Laurie! Ursula is another of Princess Galen’s most feared villains. Hannibal Lecter was such an scary villain too.

  3. I’m crazy about Maleficent and Cruella, too! And I’ve always thought Blofeld in the old Bond movies, with his creepy way of stroking his clearly-drugged cat while he plots the end of the world, was a brilliant creation. Sounds as if you’ve got a thrilling ride with the two of yours!

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      Oh, poor kitty! It’s pretty bad when even animals don’t like you.

  4. jcp says:

    the hero in Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas was a great “villain” in the Wallflower series and a great hero in his own book

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      Oh, I so agree! I still shudder to remember.

  5. Vanessa Kelly Vanessa Kelly says:

    Congrats on your release day, lady! I have Sapphires all loaded up and ready to read on my iPad.

    I love villains – some of my faves are Captain Hook and Hannibal Lector – but only the Anthony Hopkins version. James Purefoy on The Following is doing a bang-up job in the creepy villain category, too.

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      I’ll have to check out The Following. Captain Hook is another favorite in this house.

  6. Jeanne Sheats says:

    I don’t really think I have a favorite. I’m usually really into the current book I am reading so it changes constantly lol.

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      Kind of like a book boyfriend–a book villain? 🙂

  7. LSUReader says:

    Lisa Gardner writes terrifyingly good (ie, scary believable) villains. One of my favorite Disney villains is Hades, from their lesser-known and perhaps less successful movie, Hercules. James Woods does an excellent job voicing this cynically comedic villain.

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      Oh, my gosh! Yes, Lisa Gardner’s books scare me. How does she even write them?

  8. Sheryl N says:

    The queen in Snow White freaked me out when I was a kid and now she freaks out my kid.

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      Princess Galen is kind of scared of her too.

  9. Breanna Bryant says:

    I love a good villain. One of my all time favorites is Sylar from the Heroes TV series. Another is Rasputin in the animated Anastasia. I always thought that Dean Koontz was excellent at getting inside a villains head. His villains always creep me out. Loving Sapphires are a Earl’s Best Friend. 🙂

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      Thank you, Breanna! Oh, yes! Dean Koontz does write great villains.

  10. Rochelle says:

    The Baroness in The Sound of Music…elegant and evil. And speaking of evil…Dr. Evil from Austin Powers!!!

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      LOL! That poor baroness. She’s a victim of circumstance.

  11. MaureenE says:

    A favorite of mine is St. Vincent from It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas since he actually became a hero in a later novel. I do enjoy the villain turned hero.

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      And that’s so tough to write, but Lisa really pulled it off.

  12. Sue Gorman says:

    Congratulations Shana!
    I loved Lily and Darlington’s story!!
    I love a good villain.
    Robert Mitchum played the villain in the original version of the movie Cape Fear. I was on edge watching the movie and really enjoyed watching it. Awesome performance.

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      Sue, that movie was so scary. I could not sleep for a week after watching it, and I was in college!

  13. Joanna Moreno says:

    Ah, what better villain than that who cannot be named! Lord Voldemort is one of my favorite ever. And I think Ursula from the Little Mermaid is one of the funniest. I love her. Then Darseid from Superman is a worthy opponent…. So many to talk about. I guess I like a like a good villain as well 😉

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      Joanna, those are great ones. I can’t believe you’re the first to mention Voldemort.

  14. Lisa Hutson says:

    Snape. I know, it turned out he was not a villain. But for all those years, he was an awesome villain.

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      Absolutely. Just his name says villain.

  15. Anita H. says:

    Congrats Shana on the release of Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend! Can’t wait to read Lily and Darlington’s story. I’m not a fan of villains at all, I just don’t like to cheer for them.

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      I like it when they finally fall and get their due, Anita.

      1. Joanna Moreno says:

        Amen to that last statement Shana!

  16. Ada H says:

    I have to say I really hate villains so I don’t have a favorite one. I usually get so mad at them that I want to reach in the book and hurt them for our hero/heroine which I guess means the writer is doing a fantastic job lol But I can’t think of one I’d cheer for.

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      If you feel that way, Ada, the author is doing her job!

  17. Kristan Higgins says:

    Loki. Le sigh.

    1. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

      Kristan, you know you are the daughter of a girl when you have to look up Loki. PG hates superheroes (or so she says), so I know nothing about their world or villains.

  18. Michelle Fidler says:

    The Maleficent movie sounds good. I recently saw a trailer for it on the Disney Channel. I like Once Upon A Time (the Wicked Witch of the West will be on it and it returns Sunday) and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Those shows have good villains and now the Red Queen isn’t so evil, but Jafar is. Your books sound good.

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