Shana Galen

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Shana Galen is the author of numerous fast-paced adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold worldwide, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs.

A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She’s a wife, a mother, and an expert multi-tasker. She loves to hear from readers: visit her website or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

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I’ve been thinking about what makes a great book cover lately. I know a lot of what appeals to readers depends on genre, so I’d love one of the Jaunties who writes contemporary to tackle this same topic in a future post.

I can speak to my observations with covers for historical romances and what I think makes a cover appeal to readers.

1. The cover is lush.

Not surprisingly, historical readers love covers with pretty dresses, gorgeous colors, and beautiful scenery. If I’m jealous of the cover model’s dress, chances are I’m going to pick that book up, if only for the cover alone.

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2. The title catches the readers’ attention.

The title and the author’s name are often just as important as the cover image. Is the author’s name big or small? Is the title long or short? The best titles are those readers remember. Authors will often play with common phrases, movie titles, even song titles in order to catch a reader’s attention.

Sarah MacLean’s titles are one example.

 maclean green

 So are Kieran Kramer’s.

 kramer

3. Most importantly, a great book cover leaves the reader with a question they can only answer by reading the book.

Sarah MacLean accomplishes this with NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER. The question? Why is this lady from an era when women wore dresses, wearing trousers. The title is another example of a play on a common phrase.

maclean never

 Sophie Jordan’s novel HOW TO LOSE A BRIDE IN ONE NIGHT piqued readers’ attention by making them wonder if the heroine really is lost on her wedding night.

jordan

One of my best covers is LORD AND LADY SPY. Not only does it have colors that pop, it deliberately mirrors the movie posters for Mr. and Mrs. Smith. As an added touch, the designer has the female model standing on a box marked Explosives. That’s a fun nod to the lighter tone of the book and a play on the double meaning of explosive—the traditional blowing up meaning and the sexual connotation.

Lord and Lady Spy - Selected 

I’m thrilled my next full-length novel, EARLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN (February 2015), has so many of the qualities that make a great cover. Take a look. Does it leave you with a question? Is the title memorable?

Earls Just Want to Have Fun-300 

 

Shana Galen

default-logo-200

Shana Galen is the author of numerous fast-paced adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold worldwide, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs.

A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She’s a wife, a mother, and an expert multi-tasker. She loves to hear from readers: visit her website or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

Shana's Website


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Latest Books

is Linda.

Congrats! Look for an email  or email me at shana@shanagalen.com

 

My Highland Spy (1)

 

Shana Galen

My Highland Spy (1)

Shana Galen is the author of numerous fast-paced adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold worldwide, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs.

A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She’s a wife, a mother, and an expert multi-tasker. She loves to hear from readers: visit her website or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

Shana's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

The Jaunty Quills are excited to welcome historical author Victoria Roberts to the blog today. She’s the author of the new release, My Highland Spy. RT BookReviews said, “Roberts’ newest features a surprise-laden, quick-paced plot, replete with unconventional and fiercely independent characters. Her lyrical prose grabs readers’ attention, and the high level of emotional tension simply adds to the depth of the story. This book begs to be read and reread.”

Vicki Web

Keep reading to find out how to win your copy of My Highland Spy.

Shana: Welcome, Victoria! Tell us about My Highland Spy.

Victoria: First, thank you for having me today at The Jaunty Quills. This is my first visit and I hope not the last. *waves from western PA*

My Highland Spy is the first book in my new Highland Spies series. The series is about four English sisters in the Scottish Highlands. The oldest sister is a spy for the Crown sent to the Highlands to discover machinations against the realm.

Shana: Tell us about your hero, Laird Ruairi Sutherland. First of all, how do you pronounce his first name? Secondly, is he as sexy as he sounds?

Victoria: The name is pronounced ROOR-ee, and yes, he’s as sexy as he sounds. I think it’s hard to resist a man in a kilt, eh? Ruairi would do anything for his clan, especially his son. And let’s just say he’s not very happy when the English show up on his doorstep.

My Highland Spy (1)

Shana: Those Sassencahs! Who would be happy? (Can you tell I’ve been watching Outlander?)

I love spy books, and your heroine Ravenna Walsingham is a spy for the Crown. What’s she trying to discover?

Victoria: When Ruairi refuses to send his only son to the Lowlands to learn English, King James sends Ravenna to Ruairi’s home in the Highlands. Ravenna masquerades as a governess and her mission is to discover whether or not Ruairi and other Highland lairds conspire to raise arms against the Crown. Ravenna’s not thrilled to be that far away from her sisters for so long and she’s even more flustered by the fact that Ruairi is not the man she expected him to be.  

Shana: Tell us what drew you to Scotland. Other than kilted men, that is :-)

Victoria: I was drawn to Scotland the moment I read my first Scottish historical romance. The book was one of Hannah Howell’s Murray brothers. After that, I read every Scottish historical romance I could get my hands on. I fell in love with the genre, and I fell in love with Scotland.

Shana: Do you have a day job? I know from our conversations at conference you have two children and a husband. How do you manage to write and do everything else?

Victoria: Yes, I haven’t quit the day job. I work as a Business Analyst. My job allows me to work from home so I write before and after work and in between family functions. At times, it’s a wee bit hectic in the Roberts’ household to say the least.  

Shana: Finally, tell us what you have coming next.

Victoria: I’m working on a Scottish historical anthology will bestselling authors Willa Blair, Eliza Knight, Vonda Sinclair and Terry Spear. Readers can look for Kissing the Highlander Valentine’s Day 2015.

Thank you so much for having me today, Shana. It’s been great fun.

Readers, now it’s your turn. What’s so sexy about Scotland? One reader who comments will win a copy of My Highland Spy.

“An exciting Highland tale of intrigue, betrayal, and love.”

—Hannah Howell, New York Times bestselling author of Highland Master

“Roberts’ newest features a surprise-laden, quick-paced plot, replete with unconventional and fiercely independent characters. Her lyrical prose grabs readers’ attention, and the high level of emotional tension simply adds to the depth of the story. This book begs to be read and reread.”

—RT Book Reviews

This Highland Laird won’t bow to the Crown
Laird Ruairi Sutherland refuses to send his only son away to be educated by the English. And he most definitely will not appear in Edinburgh to pay homage to a liege who has no respect for Scotland. So he does what any laird would do-he lies to the king. The last thing Ruairi expects is a beautiful English governess to appear on his doorstep.

But this lady spy might make him…
Lady Ravenna Walsingham is a seasoned spy who is sent to the savage Highlands to uncover a nefarious plot against the Crown. Playing the part of an English governess—a job easier said than done—she infiltrates the home of Laird Sutherland, a suspected conspirator.

If she doesn’t betray him first
Ravenna soon discovers that the only real threat Sutherland poses is to her heart. But will the proud Highland laird ever forgive her when he discovers the woman he loves in an English spy?

Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1BCZNW8

Barnes and Noble:  http://bit.ly/1l4KJa5

Indigo:  http://bit.ly/1iSeyP0

Books-a-Million:  http://bit.ly/VFXnFe

Indiebound:  http://bit.ly/WR8U5Z

Website: www.victoriarobertsauthor.com

 

Award-winning author Victoria Roberts writes Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. She was named by RT Book Reviews as “one of the most promising debut authors across the genres” and was also a 2013 RT Reviewers’ Choice award winner for X Marks the Scot.

Represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, Victoria is a member of Romance Writers of America® and several local chapters, as well as a contributing author to the online magazine Celtic Guide.

Victoria lives in western Pennsylvania with her husband of twenty one years and their two beautiful children—not to mention one spoiled dog. When she is not plotting her next Scottish adventure, she’s dragging her clan to every Scottish festival under the sun.

 

Shana Galen

SwtB_500

Shana Galen is the author of numerous fast-paced adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold worldwide, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs.

A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She’s a wife, a mother, and an expert multi-tasker. She loves to hear from readers: visit her website or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

Shana's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

Welcome Marissa Clarke, my good friend and author of the new release Sleeping with the Boss.

The meet-cute is exactly what it sounds like.

Definition: A scene in which future romantic partners first meet in unusual and often comic circumstances.

In film, the meet-cute can be traced back to the 1920’s and was often a way to get a couple from different socio-economic backgrounds together. Today, that’s not as much of a consideration, but it’s a great device that not only adds immediate humor or awkwardness, it can act as a time machine to speed up the relationship. (Source: HollywoodLexicon.com)

I love meet-cutes. There are lots of great ones in movies and books, but my favorite meet-cute is my own when I met my now husband, Laine.

Mary

Once upon a time, long, long ago…

A friend begged me to go on a blind date because there was a guy she liked whose friend wanted to go hear the band they were planning on seeing, but he didn’t want to be a third wheel and needed a date.

Operative words: he needed a date.

Nope. Not doing it. I did not need a date. I had other things to do besides babysit some guy who couldn’t find a girl to go hear a band with him.

After lots of discussion, and perhaps some threats from my friend, I agreed, just to shut her up—but I wasn’t going to go along easily. I had never been on a blind date, and was certain it was a loser proposition before I even left to go pick my friend up to meet the guys. (I insisted on driving so I could make a quick escape.)

To make sure it was a short night, I threw on on a white polka dotted sundress with a sweetheart neckline, pulled my hair in a ponytail and wore no makeup at all—spot on for a Junior League luncheon and the worst possible choice for a nightclub. Perfect! This was going to be the shortest date in history.

When we pulled up in the parking lot to meet the guys, a hot man was leaning against the bumper of a car. He was exactly the kind of guy I found attractive—complete with a runner’s build and jeans faded in all the right places. I thought to myself what a shame it was I wasn’t meeting up with him instead of some dud who couldn’t find a date for himself.

You guessed it. That was my blind date.

My friend, dressed to the nines in a tight black dress and heels busted out laughing. I was mortified. I was decked out for a picnic, not a night on the town. I didn’t find it quite so amusing. Fortunately, my date did, and disclosed to me years later that the Pollyanna look followed by several embarrassing events that took place that night involving a new car with manual transmission I hadn’t mastered yet (imagine that horrifying grinding sound of a poorly executed gear shift) and a broken heel, were what had attracted him the most. Well, that and my sparkling personality and fine-tuned wit. Ha!

And to think, if I hadn’t been an unsuitably dressed klutz that night, we might not have celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary last week.

Definitely my favorite meet-cute.

 SwtB_500

There’s a meet-cute in my recent release, Sleeping with the Boss, in which the heroine spills her purse in the elevator, then rips the back seam of her skirt when she leans over to collect her things, giving the hero (a total stranger who turns out to be one of the owners of the company for which she’s temping) an eyeful of the results in the polished brass doors of the elevator. Embarrassing and awkward—well, for one of them at least.

I wonder why I related so well to the heroine… I can’t imagine.

Marissa is offering a Rafflecopter giveaway: Kindle Paperwhite + two $25 Amazon or B&N gift cards

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Sleeping with the Boss

For the last five years, bookish Claire Maddox has been living for the dying. Now that her stint as caretaker is over, she’s off to see the world. She needs quick cash first, so a temp job at Anderson Auctions seems perfect, especially with the unexpected benefits, including the hottest man she’s ever laid eyes—or hands—on.

Former Marine William Anderson has been burned one time too many. His military training makes him the perfect man to flush out the spy undercutting his family business, but no amount of training can prepare him for the kind of undercover work he’ll have to do when the sexy new temp is implicated. Desire lands them in bed…but duty may cost him his heart.

Buy Links (only 99 cents for a limited time!):

Goodreads

Amazon

BN

Entangled

 

Marissa Clarke lives in Texas, where everything is bigger, especially the mosquitoes.

When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, husband, and a Cairn Terrier named Annabel, who rules the house (and Marissa’s heart) with an iron paw.

Marissa Clarke is a pseudonym. Her real name is Mary Lindsey and she also writes young adult novels for Penguin USA. www.marylindsey.com

She loves to connect with readers and can be found at www.marissaclarke.com and on Twitter at @MaryL_MarissaC

For updates and insider information on Marissa’s upcoming books, subscribe here: http://tinyurl.com/marissanews

 

Shana Galen

default-logo-200

Shana Galen is the author of numerous fast-paced adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold worldwide, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs.

A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She’s a wife, a mother, and an expert multi-tasker. She loves to hear from readers: visit her website or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

Shana's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

Love and Let Spy by Shana Galen was chosen an Amazon Best Book of the Month in Romance for August 2014.

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